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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 26 February 2022

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 26 February 2022]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ According to Reuters, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that reaction from NATO and Western countries to Russia's assault on Ukraine had not been decisive. He added he hoped a NATO summit on February 25 would lead to a more determined approach from the alliance.

  "It should not turn into a flurry of ordinary condemnation. NATO should have taken a more decisive step," Erdoğan said after Friday prayers in Istanbul on February 25.

  Reuters adds that while forging close cooperation with Russia on defense and energy, Turkey has also sold drones to Ukraine and signed a deal to co-produce more. Turkey opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya also, as well as its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

  VOA's correspondent Dorian Jones reports that Mr. Erdoğan also criticized Russia and took on a great risk.

  Russia's increasingly aggressive policy in the shared Black Sea region is causing Turkey concern, says international relations professor Mustafa Aydin of Istanbul's Kadir Has University.

  "Until a few years (ago), Turkey had the most powerful navy in the Black Sea after the Cold War, but now Russia has surpassed," Aydin said. "Especially the militarization of the zone by Russia, not only Crimea but across the Black Sea region from Armenia to the north Caucasus, to the Ukrainian border. It puts not only Turkey but all the NATO countries in a defensive position."

  Erdoğan has in recent years developed close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, extending from cooperating in Syria to trade and investment. Asli Aydintasbas, a senior fellow of the European Council, says that the relationship has put Moscow in a strong position with Ankara.

  "Russia holds way too many cards. They hold the card of refugees in Syria. One sortie from a Russian fighter jet could get people in Syria to panic and run to the border," Aydintasbas said. "They hold the natural gas card: Turkey in the middle of winter does need Russian gas. And Russians have been investing in Turkey's key infrastructure. They are building Turkey's first nuclear reactor."

  Analysts point out that Turkey's dependency on Russian energy exports and cooperation in Syria mean Erdoğan will have to tread carefully with Moscow.

  In addition, Russia sends Turkey its highest number of vacationers, boosting its key tourism sector, which provides vital foreign currency to the beleaguered Turkish economy.

  Atilla Yeşilada, an analyst at the Global Source Partners, warns the struggling economy recovering from a currency collapse last year, Turkey is especially vulnerable to any retaliation from Russia.

★ Ukraine has requested that Turkey close the Turkish Straits to the Russian navy.

  Turkey may close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to warships. However, Russia still has the right under the 1936 Montreux Convention to use them for the return of its fleet to its bases, Turkish Foreign affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said February 25.

  Çavuşoğu added that Turkish legal experts were still trying to determine whether the conflict in Ukraine could be defined as a war, which would allow Turkey to invoke the convention mandates.

★ Ukrainians living in Turkey call for support amidst the Russian invasion, reports the Turkish daily Duvar. On Friday, the ones living in Istanbul continued their protest in front of the Russian Consulate General on the second day of Russia's military operation against their country.

  The protestors said they expected solidarity from Turks and told Duvar they did not want war and that Ukrainians and Russians were "fraternal people."

★ VOA reported that the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked his counterpart and the Turkish people.

  In his tweet said:

  "I thank my friend Mr. President of TR @RTErdogan and the people of TR for their strong support. The ban on the passage of RU warships to the Black Sea and significant military and humanitarian support for UA are extremely important today. The people of UA will never forget that!"

★ Speaking of VOA, as we reported to you earlier in the month, turkey's media watchdog RTUK asked VOA, Deutsche Welle, and Euronews to get licenses to broadcast in Turkish.

  However, none got one.

  Now, RTUK is taking them to court to block access to their Turkish language websites, announced İlhan Taşçı, the RTUK member from the opposition. He said, "Press freedom and the final word are now in the judiciary's hands."

★ Cnaan Liphshiz wrote February 20 in The Times of Israel that Turkey, a country with a dwindling Jewish population and a Muslim leader accused of making antisemitic remarks by the U. S. State Department, might not present the likeliest scene for a revival of Jewish heritage. Yet that is what has been happening there for the past five years. The government has been renovating Historic synagogues, and a historic center of Sephardic life holds an annual culture festival.

  Some observers regard this revival, much of it underwritten with government funds, as little more than an attempt by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to ditch the antisemitism label he has earned by ranting against Israelis and Jews and dismissing critics as stooges of Israel.

  But others identify a more complex set of motivations, combining aspirations to attract tourists and a genuine appreciation for the ancient presence of Jews in Turkey and their contribution to its culture.

  Tourism is a significant aspect of the Jewish heritage push in Turkey, according to Yossef Ashkenazi, a 71-year-old Israeli, born in Turkey's southeastern city of Kilis, where the government recently renovated a synagogue.

  "I think what we're seeing is a mix of processes," he said of the Jewish heritage revival in Turkey. "Erdoğan, who's an antisemite, wants it to appear softer. But when that reaches the mid-level and the common man on the street, it becomes genuine. Jews are generally loved in Turkey, and there is widespread recognition of how deep our roots go there and how they have contributed to Turkish society."


Edited by Saadet Ejder


★ Turkey's online shopping platform Trendyol Art is presenting the works of more than 150 artists to art lovers. Art lovers can access hundreds of works such as painting, print, engraving, photography, sculpture, glass, ceramics, illustration, and graphics from the mobile application of Trendyol Art.

  Trendyol Art is promoting an artist every month from among the 150. This month it is Ardan Özmenoğlu, and his works will be on sale on the platform starting February 24. One of his works, Mimosa, will be available in a limited edition with his signature.

  Özmenoğlu emphasizes popular culture images in his works. He studied at the faculties school of Fine Arts, Design and Architecture at Bilkent University. He was a guest artist at Berkeley's Kala Art Institute, Berlin's Ateliergemeinschaft Milchhof e.V., Belgium's Frans Masereel Centrum, Kulturkontakt Austria in Vienna, and Glasstress in Venice, Italy.

  He interprets glass sculptures, neon works, simple and complex subjects in his own way.


★ There are two talks and a walk this week in the February events of Istanbul's Yapı Kredi Culture and Art Publications.

  On Thursday, February 24, Yapi Kredi Culture had a panel discussion on British novelist James Lasdun's "The Afternoon of a Faun." The novel covers topics of male power, desire, and truth.

  On Thursday, February 24, the walk "Walking Behind Consumption in Beyoğlu" took place. The walk was to make people think about the impact on the city of the leftovers after consuming the resources.

  On Sunday, February 27, for the exhibition "Hush Barbatus!," there will be an interview featuring contemporary Turkish writer Faruk Duman. He will talk about the emergence of his paintings rather than his writing.

  The talk will be available simultaneously on the YouTube channel of Yapı Kredi Culture and Art Publishing.

  Many other artists will also talk about their art throughout the coming weeks.

  Yapı Kredi Culture and Art Publishing is a cultural arm of Turkey's Yapı Kredi bank.


★ A puppet theater met with the audience in Turkey's north-central city of Eskişehir.

  Preparations have been going on for about two months for a play titled "King Midas," inspired by the legendary king who was supposed to have lived some 2500 years ago. It is an adaptation of Güngör Dilmen's work with the same name.

  The legend of "King Midas" inspired the play. The director was Hristina Arsenova of Bulgaria. Ayten Öğütçü designed the puppets and stage. Vladimir Djambazov, also from Bulgaria, composed the music.

  Funds from the "Common Cultural Heritage: Conservation and Dialogue Between Turkey and European Union-II (CCH-II) Grant Program" are used for the play. The program aims to promote and develop joint cultural heritage activities between Turkish and the European Union institutions.


★ The exhibition "What Water Knows" took place at Istanbul's Pilot Gallery. Mehmet Ali Uysal and a group of 16 artists participated. The artists interpret the crises of the period we are in with water.

  The artists emphasize the property of water that both separates and unites. It symbolizes a border for some and a never-reachable dreamland for others. Since World War II, people have migrated mostly for water.

  The exhibition ended today.

★ Other exhibitions:

  - Turkish artist Cem Sonel's " One And Zero Makes Two" is on at Anna Laudel İstanbul
 - Austrian artist Christiane Peschek's " Oasis" will be on until March 13 at Istanbul's Sanatorium.
 - "This Play," the first 2022 exhibition of gallery Arter is on. Fifty-nine artists are taking part. The exhibition features works on childhood and play. (See the video below.)


★ The 26th Turkish German Film Festival will be held in Nuremberg between March 11-20 this year.

  The festival will open with the movie "Bergen."

  The honorary awards of the festival will go to two names from Turkey and one from Germany. Perihan Savaş, acting since the 1970s, will receive one of the honorary awards.

  Dr. Ahmet Boyacıoğlu will receive an award for managing the International Golden Orange Antalya and the Mobile Film festivals.

  ARTE Film And Television Films general manager Claudia Tronnie will receive the third award for showing special attention and supporting the young talents, thus contributing to great successes in Turkish German film.

★ Turkish jazz pianist Uraz Kıvaner and his orchestra commemorated Chet Baker at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul last week.

  Kıvaner told the audience Baker's story and played his music.

★ Turkish megastar Tarkan has a new song out that is causing a lot of discussions in Turkey.

  The name of the song translates as " It Will Pass." Tarkan said that he wrote the song when he was depressed due to the pandemic.

  However, some are taking it to mean that the rule of the Justice And Development Party will eventually end.

  The pro-Justice and Development Party press, making up about 90% of the media, have been criticizing Tarkan.

  The initial two stanzas of the song are as follows:

  Didn't it always corner us?
  Didn't it stab us
  In the back before?
  How many blows has it been?
  This is not the first.
  We fell but we got up, didn't we?
  Didn't we always challenge destiny?
  You rest easy.
  We got over so many things before

  It will pass, it will pass, surely this will also pass
  You will see, your hopes will have the time of their life.
  Wow, wow, then we will put on finger cymbals and dance
  Those days of flowers are so near, believe me


★ The 72nd international Berlin film festival and gave its awards. Turkish-German Meltem Kaptan received the Silver Bear in the Best Lead Actor category. br />
  American director and scriptwriter Night Shyamalan was head of the jury.

  Meltem Kaptan thanked her mother and father in her acceptance speech in Turkish. She dedicated her award to mothers whose love is boundless and intense.

  Kaptan starred in a movie that told the story of a housewife who fought to release her son from Guantanamo.

Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush | Press Conference Highlights | Berlinale 2022


Click on photos to see a larger version
★ A cave in Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir reveals its secrets slowly, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  Foreign and Turkish scientists and archeologists have been investigating the cave where ancients left their marks for thousands of years. The oldest so far are human footprints that date back to 14,000 years ago.

  Archeologists recovered numerous objects such as human pones, pieces of ceramics, chards of polished stone. They are now are under protection.

  According to archeologists, humans have used the cave continuously until the end of the Roman era. For a while, the cave was a place of production. It later may have been a cult center dedicated to the mother goddess Kibele.

  More photos are available >> here <<

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 13.82

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 54/37 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 63/48 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 45/28 Snow
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 52/41 Mostly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 59/43 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 50/43 Rainy


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ In the gymnastics world cup held in Cottsbus, Germany, Turkey's İbrahim Çolak received a gold medal.

  Turkey's Ferhat Arican was chosen as the men's Artistic Gymnast of the year for 2021, European Gymnastics organization announced Wednesday.

  Arican claimed the bronze medal on parallel bars, becoming Turkey's first Olympic medalist in gymnastics at Tokyo 2020.

★ Euroleague:

  Monaco - Fenerbahçe (Turkey)  92 - 78
  Anadolu Efes (Turkey) - Macabbi (Israel) 109 -77


Premier League

* Results for week: 26
Konya           -      Kasımpaşa      4 - 4
Rize            -      Başakşehir     0 - 2
Malatya         -      Antalya        1 - 2
Kayseri         -      Giresun        2 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      Altay          1 - 0
Alanya          -      Trabzon        0 - 4
G. Antep        -      Adana          0 - 3
K.gümrük        -      Sivas          1 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      Hatay          2 - 0
Göztepe         -      G. Saray       2 - 3

* In games played so far this weekend:
Adana           -      Antalya        0 - 0
Trabzon         -      Kayseri        3 - 2
Sivas           -      Beşiktaş       2 - 3
Başakşehir      -      K.gümrük       1 - 2
* Standing in the league as of week ending 26
 1 - Trabzon         63
 2 - Konya           49
 3 - Başakşehir      46
 4 - Adana           44
 5 - Fenerbahçe      43
 6 - Beşiktaş        41
 7 - Alanya          40
 8 - Hatay           39
 9 - Kayseri         38
10 - G. Antep        36
11 - K.gümrük        36
12 - Sivas           34
13 - G. Saray        32
14 - Antalya         31
15 - Kasımpaşa       29
16 - Göztepe         27
17 - Giresun         26
18 - Rize            23
19 - Altay           22
20 - Malatya         17


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

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