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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 05 March 2022

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 05 March 2022]

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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★ Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said March 4 the situation in Ukraine was worsening and it must not be allowed to escalate, adding Turkey would keep its air space open.

  Çavuşoğlu added Turkish and Russian military were in co to make sure Turkish vessels could safely return from ports in the Black Sea.

  He also said Ankara wanted to bring the Russian and Ukrainian foreign affairs ministers together at a diplomacy forum in Turkey's southern province of Antalya next week. However, it was unclear if the ministers would be able to attend.

  In related news, on March 2, Turkish presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said that Turkey is not planning to impose sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, even though Ankara will restrict the passage of warships to the Black Sea. British journalist Becky Anderson interviewed Mr. Kalın on her program on CNN.

  Kalın said that Turkey wants to remain in dialogue with Russia as a more important factor in avoiding the sanctions decision.

  Stating that officials from Western countries have also conveyed to Turkish authorities the importance of Turkey staying in touch with Russia, Kalın said: "Some of us need to stay in touch with Russia and encourage them to return to the negotiating table."

  Mr. Kalin said a day earlier on the Turkish broadcast of CNN that Russia has unrealistic demands from Ukraine to stop its invasion.

  Kalın said that Putin's real goal is not Ukraine and that he wants to make a bigger bargain with the West.

★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, in an interview with a Russian TV channel, Ethem Sancak, a Turkish businessman, has said that Turkey's drone sales to Ukraine were a mistake. He added: "We did not know that Bayraktar drones would be used in this way while selling them." Mr. Sancak has close ties to President Erdoğan.

  Sancak also criticized NATO, saying that Turkey's membership in the organization is "shameful." He also accused NATO of staging the failed coup attempt of July 2016 in Turkey.

  Despite what Mr. Sancak said, most blame the followers of Fethullah Gülen, a cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, for the coup attempt.

  Since Russia launched its invasion a week ago, the Ukrainian Embassy in Ankara has posted several videos of what they say are Bayraktar TB2 drones hitting Russian targets.

  Russia had previously raised concerns with Turkey over Ukraine's use of drones in the country's east, but Ankara says it is not responsible for what buyers do. Cheaper than U. S. and Chinese rivals, Turkish drones have attracted buyers from Europe, Africa, and Asia.

  The daily Duvar reported on March 1 that Vadym Prystaiko, Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, has announced that Ukraine is in contact with Turkey to purchase more combat drones amid the Russian invasion. The ambassador also said that Ukrainian military personnel is getting training in Turkey to use the drones.

  Most experts say that Turkish drones are effective but not a game-changer in the conflict.

★ Thousands of Turkish nationals live in Ukraine. After the war broke out, Turkish authorities started evacuating these citizens. According to the foreign affairs minister, by March 2, 8500 Turks returned to Turkey with Turkish governments efforts.

  The evacuations were through Bucharest, Romania, and Warsaw, Poland.

  In related news, the war stranded thousands of Ukrainian holidaymakers in Turkey.

★ Aksoy Research company carried out a survey recently. According to Bianet, 80% of the Turks responded that the country should remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war.

  2.4% said Turkey should side with Russia, while 19.4% said Turkey should side with NATO.

  75.2% said they are very concerned about the war in Ukraine. However, 9 1/2% said that the crisis does not concern them.

  63% thought that the war would affect Turkey negatively/very negatively. 13.6% thought it would affect Turkey positively/very positively.

★ Armored security vehicles are everywhere in urban areas in Turkey. Going in pursuit of criminals or rioters at high speeds, they are a problem for civilians.

  Sixty-seven children have been killed by armored vehicles, mines, and unexploded ammunition since 2011 in Turkey, according to a report released by the Diyarbakır Bar Association.

  The report has revealed that 66 of the deaths occurred in the eastern and southeastern regions of the country, the daily Duvar reported.


★ Turkey faces a historic economic crisis, with inflation at an all-time high and energy prices soaring. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned his MPs that they are not doing enough to explain the economic moves of the government to their constituents, reports the daily Duvar, based on reporting by BBC Turkish.

  At the Justice and Development Party group meeting on March 2, Mr. Erdoğan chastised the representatives of his party. High-level ministers including Vice President Fuat Oktay, Minister of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Murat Kurum, Minister of Treasury and Finance Nureddin Nebati, and Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu attended the meeting.

  Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party have come under heavy criticism for their economic policies in recent months. Starting in September, he encouraged the Central Bank to lower interest rates, which resulted in skyrocketing foreign exchange rates and all-time high inflation levels.

  This has hit Erdoğan hard - in recent polling, the opposition coalition is ahead. Further, in a move that seemed to signify insecurity with the party's election chances, Erdoğan said he would personally choose MPs that will run for office in the planned 2023 elections.

★ The annual consumer price inflation hit 54.44 percent in Turkey in February, the highest in two decades, while the domestic producer price index soared to 105 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on March 3.

  Non-governmental experts such as the ENAG Inflation Research Group say the rate is even higher. It calculates the consumer price inflation rate as 123.80 percent in February.

★ According to Reuters, Turkey's economy grew a powerful 11% in 2021 as expected, but economists expect a slowdown this year due to a surge in inflation.

  President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is implementing an economic plan that prioritizes growth, employment, investment, and exports driven by a series of unorthodox interest rate cuts.

  But his plan sparked a currency crisis and inflation of near 50% in January. Invasion of Ukraine by Russia could also derail his plan by slashing tourism revenues seen as vital to reducing a gaping current account deficit.

★ Leading Turkish beer producer Anadolu Efes has announced that it halted operations in its breweries in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.

  It said its operations in Russia would continue.


Edited by Saadet Ejder


★ The documentary "A Story of Ownership," telling the story of the Kenan Yavuz Ethnographic Museum, met with the audience. People from the business, arts, and civil society prescreened it at the Grand Pera Labor Stage.

  In 2013, businessman Kenan Yavuz founded the museum in Bayburt city in northeastern Turkey, where he was born and raised. The goal is to pass on the lifestyle, local traditions, and cultural fabric of the ancient Anatolian civilizations to future generations.

  Almost six years later, the museum also received the status of an official private museum in 2019. In 2021, it won the Silletto Award at the European Museum Forum European Museum of the Year Award.

  Read more about the museum on the European Forum pages.

  Read more >> here << There is also a YouTube video about the museum there.


★ Professionals from Turkey's gastronomy and hospitality sector met in the Mediterranean city of Antalya on February 22 and 23 for the second time in two years. Called the International Tourism Gastronomy and Hospitality Summit, the event included 41 separate panels on new product introductions and tasting, and 165 industry professionals took part as speakers.

  Sözen Organization organized the summit, Pınar and Unilever Food Solutions sponsored it. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, and many non-governmental organizations supported it.

  In addition to hotel and restaurant professionals, the event brought together domestic and foreign investors, food and beverage managers, gastronomy and tourism professionals, and local and international chefs.

  The professionals discussed many important issues such as the concept of modern Turkish cuisine, the transformation of Anatolian cuisine, future scenarios in the luxury hospitality sector, the future of the prepared food sector in Turkey, the future trends of gastronomy, and the impact of international gastronomy competitions on countries.

  The event venue was the Nirvana Cosmopolitan Hotel.


★ Madrid-based Callia Foundation presented the "International Art Support" award to SAHA Chairman of the Board, Füsun Eczacıbaşı.

  Since 2015 the foundation has been giving the award to people supporting the arts in Spain and South America. It is the first time it has bestowed it to an international name.

  The ceremony was at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in San Fernando, Spain. The jury consisted of the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, and the Director of the National Museum of Art of Mexico.

  Füsun Eczacıbaşı said she was happy with the award, and added that they are working to bring Turkish art to the international level.

  SAHA Association supports Turkish artists, curators, and writers working in visual arts. It guides them in improving their production and development environments and enhancing their interactions with international art institutions and networks.

  Over ten years, SAHA has supported over 400 artists, curators, writers, and art projects in 170 not-for-profit institutions in 43 countries.


★ Renowned Turkish author Yaşar Kemal grew up in Çukurova on the Mediterranean coast. Lament ceremonies in the villages of the Taurus Mountains influenced Yaşar Kemal during his childhood, and he reflected them in his novels. The master writer has inspired movies, plays, and music with his works.

  Yapı Kredi Culture and Art Publications commemorated Kemal with music on the fifth anniversary of his death with a concert at Loca, the Yapı Kredi Culture Performance Center, on February 28, featuring music influenced by his works. Lyricist Murat Meriç told the stories of the songs. Photos and videos accompanied the event.


★ The TRT reports that authorities will transform an 800-year-old caravanserai belonging to the Ayyubid period in southeastern Şanlıurfa province of Turkey into a museum where all the different types of pepper seeds in the world will be on display.

  Han el Barur caravanserai in the Harran district of the province will serve as the "Isot Museum."

  Isot is a dried red pepper from Şanlıurfa.

  Caravanserais are large guest houses or roadside inns designed for traveling merchants and their caravans to provide overnight housing in the past.

  Han el Barur is on the silk Road route. The structure is the only known Ayyubid caravanserai that survived within the borders of Anatolia.

  Consultant Dr. Mustafa Guler managed a project that restored the caravanserai according to its original form in the 12th century. The restoration finished in 2018.


★ According to the daily Duvar, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality will begin to restore the 630-year-old Anadolu fortress and transform it into a museum that will open at the end of the summer, say, city officials.

  The landmark fortress on the Asian side of Istanbul used to act as a lookout point on the Bosporus.

  The authorities have closed it to the public since the 1990s.

  An almost identical Rumeli Hisarı fortress mirrors the Anadolu fortress on the European side of the city. The two structures sit on opposite sides of the narrowest point in the Bosporus, just 2500 feet across.

  Ottoman Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid ordered the building of the fortress in 1390, and construction finished in 1395.

★ The historic Zerzevan fortress in the Diyarbakir Province in Southeastern Turkey has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List.

  The Romans built the Zerzevan fortress in the 3rd century as a defensive structure on its eastern borders. They used it for 400 years until the Arab conquest. People nearly forgot it until archaeological digs began in 2014.

  The excavations found many structures both above and below ground. It also revealed that the history may date back to 3000 years, as traces to the pre-Roman Assyrian era emerged.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 14.22

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
 Ankara, in central Turkey        : 48/36 Rainy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 59/52 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 36/12 Sleet
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 50/43 Rainy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 57/50 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 48/39 Sleet

Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 53 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 40 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 98 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 65 inches
Saklıkent in Antalya, Southern Turkey   : 15 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 53 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 41 inches


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* Results for week: 27
Adana           -      Antalya        0 - 0
Trabzon         -      Kayseri        3 - 2
Sivas           -      Beşiktaş       2 - 3
Başakşehir      -      K.gümrük       1 - 2
G. Saray        -      Rize           4 - 2
Alanya          -      Konya          5 - 1
Hatay           -      Malatya        5 - 2
Giresun         -      Göztepe        3 - 1
Altay           -      G. Antep       3 - 2
Kasımpaşa       -      Fenerbahçe     1 - 2

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

* Standing in the league as of week ending 27
 1 - Trabzon         66
 2 - Konya           49
 3 - Başakşehir      46
 4 - Fenerbahçe      46
 5 - Adana           45
 6 - Beşiktaş        44
 7 - Alanya          43
 8 - Hatay           42
 9 - K.gümrük        39
10 - Kayseri         38
11 - G. Antep        36
12 - G. Saray        35
13 - Sivas           34
14 - Antalya         32
15 - Kasımpaşa       29
16 - Giresun         29
17 - Göztepe         27
18 - Altay           25
19 - Rize            23
20 - Malatya         17
★ Turkey is sending 3300 police officers to Qatar for the 2020 FIFA soccer World Cup, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reported.

★ In the World Women's Day Race, Ms. Beren, an English colt won at the Istanbul Race Tracks.

  Jockey Club of Turkey organized the race, the jockey was Özcan Yıldırım.

★ A first for tennis players in Turkey. National Men's Tennis Team A beat their Uzbek rivals 3-2 and moved to the playoffs in the David Cup.

★ Euroleague Basketball competitions:

Two Turkish teams in the Euroleague played against each other:

* Anadolu Efes - Fenerbahce 84-79


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

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