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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 07 May 2022

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 07 May 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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★ VOA reported that May Day was an eventful time again for Turks. May Day is a time of high emotion for participants and their causes, with police on the ready, commented VOA.

  Here are excerpts from the VOA news on the May Day:

  Turkish police moved in quickly in Istanbul and encircled protesters near the barred-off Taksim Square - where 34 people died In 1977 during a May Day event when unknown people fired shots into the crowd from a nearby building.

  On Sunday, police detained 164 people for demonstrating without permits and resisting police at the square, the office of the Istanbul governor said. At a site on the Asian side of Istanbul, a May Day gathering drew thousands, singing, chanting, and waving banners, a demonstration organized by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey.

  "Our main theme this year had to be the cost of living," Ergun Atalay, the head of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions, said as he placed a wreath in Taksim Square and demanded that the government adjust the minimum wages monthly to reflect rising prices.

★ As we reported to you last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Saudi Arabia and met with the king and the crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

  The echoes of the trip dominated the Turkish press, especially the opposition media, this week.

  While the pro-government press reported it as a victory in foreign affairs, the opposition media said that Saudis insulted the Turkish president and his entourage in many ways. Neither the King nor Prince Salman met President Erdoğan at the airport, but the city governor was at hand. When the Turkish president took off to go back to Turkey, the vice governor of the city saw him off.

  There was also a cartoon in the Saudi press depicting Erdoğan as a beggar with a box in hand.

  The Saudi press also reported Saudi officials saying that they did not invite President Erdoğan, but he just decided to come.

★ According to Bloomberg, Istanbul's autonomy and finances are being squeezed in a clash between the national government and the opposition-run municipality.

  Clashes between national governments and their biggest cities are hardly new, whether New Yorkers rallying against Donald Trump or Londoners being dragged out of the European Union against their will, Bloomberg adds. Yet, in a country that's been in the spotlight for its increasingly authoritarian leadership and whose economy is in crisis, the squeeze on Istanbul is particularly resonant.

  The conflict emerged almost as soon as Turkey's main opposition wrested control of the country's two largest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling party in municipal elections in 2019. The loss of Istanbul — home to a fifth of Turkey's population and accounting for nearly a third of its economic output — was an especially big blow.

  Erdoğan, a former Istanbul mayor, signaled his intent to stymie the opposition at the city level by turning the screws on their finances. He warned in a speech ahead of the 2019 votes that municipalities "who are not in harmony with the central government will declare their bankruptcy." Read more >> here <<

★ Another piece of news about Istanbul: according to an official statement by the Office of the Istanbul Governor, 1.3 million foreigners are legally residing in Istanbul. 540,000 of them are Syrians under temporary protection. 763,000 are regular immigrants, legally authorized to enter, and have residence permits.

  The population of the Istanbul province is about 15 million.

  In March 2022, the number of tourists visiting Istanbul increased by hundred and 12% compared to March 2021 and reached 1.2 million. The number of tourists who visited Istanbul in the first three months of 2022 was almost 3 million. The largest group of tourists were from Iran with 10%, Germans with 8%, and people from Russian Federation with 7.8%.


★ Turkish Statistical Institute released the inflation figures for April. From 61% last month, the consumer price index shot up to 70%.

  However, ENAG, a group of independent experts, said that the rate was around 157% over the past 12 months. The prices went up by 171% in April, according to ENAG.

  The Economists blame the unorthodox economic policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on high inflation rates. Contrary to economic theory, Mr. Erdoğan says that lower interest rates would bring down inflation and has been influencing the supposedly independent central bank to lower the rates.

★ According to The Economist, Turkish builders thrive in Africa and give Chinese competitors a run for their money.

  The magazine says that the Turkish construction industry is an international heavyweight. Of the world's 250 biggest contractors, 40 are Turkish, behind only China and America.

  Last year alone, the value of projects undertaken by Turkish builders in sub-Saharan Africa was $5bn, or 17% of all Turkish building projects abroad, up from a paltry 0.3% before 2008. The region has overtaken Europe (10%) and the Middle East (13%) and is second only to the countries of the former Soviet Union.


Edited by Saadet Ejder


★ Turkish artist Seçil Erel, who lives in London, has been accepted to the Summer exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts. The artist exhibits her latest work titled "Universal Pieces: Sparkle."

  The purpose of the exhibition is to show that when six different artists living in very different parts of the world come together, they have more in common than they could even imagine.

  With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and technology, the exhibition emphasizes the orientation of people to individual life.

  One can think of the exhibition as a projection of a space where people have forgotten the technology for a moment, and it can physically exist and reconnect.

  Seçil Erel completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University, School of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. She volunteers for social responsibility projects for children, the disabled, women, education, and nature. Her paintings that create different perspectives and awareness are in line with her motto: "Anything is possible."

  You can visit the exhibition between May 2-8.

★ Singer, actress, and make-up artist Suzan Kardeş gave a concert at a venue in West İstanbul Marina as part of the Hıdırellez celebrations.

  Among the songs that she sang was one that renowned Turkish pop musician Sezen Aksu has gifted to her.

  The artist has been meeting the audience with a concept titled "Suzan's Hıdırellez Garden" for nearly 30 years. She said that during the Hıdırellez period, the COVID-19 epidemic was over, and the things she dreamed of came true.

  She conveyed the Hıdırellez rituals to the audience on stage. In the concert, watched by about a thousand people, a 13-person orchestra and three dancers accompanied Kardeş. She held these concerts also in Izmir and Edirne.

  Hıdırellez is a day that celebrates the arrival of spring. People also make wishes on this day.

  Hıdırellez is named after Hıdır. Various Islamic and non-Islamic traditions describe him as a messenger, a profit, a slave, or an angel who guards the sea, teaches secret knowledge, and aid those in distress.

★ International Jazz Day celebrations took place in Istanbul. Many institutions celebrate this day, accepted by UNESCO in 2011, with various events.

  The ensemble Twin Cabin Crew consists of three musicians, all living separately, performed in Istanbul. Organizer Borusan Music chose this group to emphasize that jazz brings people of the world together.

  The Twin Cabin Crew just issued a new album titled "Transit." The making of the album has an interesting story:

  Mehmet İkiz, Drummer and percussionist of the ensemble, met with his musician friends when life returned to normal and recorded 45 minutes of music for five days. The story of the music tells a plane journey from start to finish.

  In a later performance, they depict a disobedient person falling to the ground while dancing to a Hebrew song. In the end, their undressing describes the persecution of the Jews.

★ On April 29, World Dance Day, the "Deca Dance" show was on the stage of Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul. The Batsheva Dance Troupe performed.

  The renowned Batsheva Dance Troupe, founded in Israel 58 years ago by Martha Graham, a pioneer of modern dance, consists of young dancers between 18 and 24.

  Ohad Naharin, described as one of the most original contemporary choreographers, took over as the art director of the Batsheva Ensemble in 1990. "Deca Dance" is an unusual work created by Batsheva in the 10th year of his appointment. Although its name is the "10th Anniversary Dance," it is an open-ended work since the troupe adds a new choreography every time it performs it.

★ The exhibition by Axel Hütte at the Borusan Contemporary Haunted Mansion in Istanbul brings to life the magical world of Anatolian Civilizations through the art of photography, reports the daily Cumhuriyet reporter Yazgülü Aldoğan.

  The name of the exhibition is quite interesting: CHRONOSTASIS. It means chipping away at the time. The meaning of the name given by Axel Hütte to it is "the cessation of time."

  Yazgülü Aldoğan writes that when one encounters a very interesting, very striking image, the brain almost stops time to perceive it better. It is like slow motion.

  Axel Hütte is a renowned photographer. When fascinated by a place, he stops time in the photos he takes and records this moment in his memory.

  A few years ago, Axel Hütte got an assignment to photograph the ancient ruins in the Ephesus and Lycia region in Western Turkey. The artist, who first intended to travel to four locations, wanted to see more as he traveled. Between 2017-18, he visited fourteen ancient cities and photographed them. Thus, the project "Ancient Cities of Asia minor" came to being.

  The exhibition will be on through August 28.

★ According to Forbes magazine correspondent Breanna Wilson, if you route your travel through Istanbul, you can stay free at a four-star hotel in Istanbul.

  For economy class passengers with a layover of 20 hours or more at Istanbul Airport and traveling on a round-trip Turkish Airlines ticket, the airline offers one night in a four-star hotel. Passengers flying business and first-class get two nights in a five-star hotel.

  More than 57,000 transfer passengers from 42 countries and 108 cities took advantage of the program during the previous run.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 15.94

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 64/41 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 75/59 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 54/36 Showers
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 66/50 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 79/59 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 55/50 Showers


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

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