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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 23 July 2022

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 23 July 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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★ According to Reuters, Turkey's efforts to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports bore fruit this week. On Friday, Russia and Ukraine signed an accord in Istanbul. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the event.

  Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny ports in Ukraine will open to exports under United Nations monitoring. The accord will be valid for 120 days with an option to renew.

  State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that U. S. welcomed the announcement but said they are focusing on now holding Russia accountable for implementing this agreement.

★ Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey would assess compliance by Sweden and Finland with a deal allowing them to join NATO at a trilateral meeting next month.

  At the end of June, Turkey lifted its objections for Sweden and Finland to join NATO on the sidelines of a summit in Madrid. According to government-operated broadcaster TRT, Turkey's foreign affairs minister said on Thursday that the monitoring committee would gather in August.

  In May, Turkish President Erdoğan said they opposed the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland. He said that the two countries failed to combat threats to Turkey's security posed by terrorist groups, including the Gülen Movement and the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

  Most think that the Gülen movement was behind the 2016 coup attempt.

  The Kurdistan Workers Party has been in armed conflict with Turkey since the 1980s, resulting in the deaths of 40,000 people. The underground organization is on a list of terrorist entities in the U.S. and the European Union.

★ According to Medyasope, an independent news and analysis provider, internet service providers in Turkey share the traffic of all users connecting to the internet via computers or mobile devices to BDK, Turkey's Information Technologies and Communications Authority.

  The data sent is not anonymous, and the identity of all users are visible to BDK. Medyascope writes that BDK and possibly other government agencies are using the data for mass surveillance.

  In the past decades in Turkey, journalists uncovered wiretapping incidences, but mass surveillance was never an issue, Medyasope writes.

  Previously, the main opposition Republican People's Party Deputy Chairman Onursal Adıgüzel stated that BDK regularly requests user traffic data from internet service providers, a claim that the BDK has not disputed.

  Medyascope writes that it was not the board of BDK that decided to ask for data, but a presidential letter ordered them to do so.

  Information sent to BDK includes websites visited, WhatsApp communications, and phone calls and locations.

★ On Wednesday, Turkey rejected Iraqi state media claims that it had carried out a strike on a mountain resort in the northern Dohuk province of Iraq that killed eight tourists and wounded 23 people.

  The Iraq state TV said a fierce artillery bombing hit the resort area in Zakho close to the Turkish border.

★ This week, Russian President Putin got together with the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Tehran, Iran. The purpose of the summit was to discuss the future of Syria.

  According to the website of the Turkish president, three leaders expressed their determination to continue working together to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations. They condemned the increased presence and activities of terrorist groups and their affiliates under different names in various parts of Syria, including the attacks targeting civilian facilities, resulting in the loss of innocent lives.

  During his meetings with the Iranian side, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed a new natural gas deal that will extend the existing one by 25 years.

  Iran supplies a significant amount of oil and gas to Turkey. A 1600-mile pipeline carries Iranian gas to the Turkish capital Ankara.

  The Turkish service of Deutsche Welle also reported that before the meeting on Tuesday, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against a new military offensive in Syria. President Erdoğan said earlier that Turkey might intervene in northern Syria to create a larger buffer zone and may deport some of the 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey there.

  After the summit, Mr. Erdoğan met with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish daily Duvar reports. In a press conference, Mr. Erdoğan said Turkey would like to expand defense industry cooperation with Iran.

★ According to the Turkish daily Sözcü, the top Turkish court Council of State rejected a plea to annul the 2021 presidential decree that pulled Turkey out of the Istanbul Convention.

  The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is a human rights treaty of the Council of Europe against violence against women and domestic violence. It opened for signature on May 11, 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey was one of the first to sign it.

  The conservative groups in Turkey claim that the convention promotes homosexuality. Upon pressure from these groups, the Erdoğan administration withdrew from the landmark agreement.

★ CNN International interviewed Haluk Bayraktar, the general manager of Turkey's Baykar Technologies. The Baykar name came to the forefront with its drones that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have used against Russian invaders.

  In the interview, Mr. Bayraktar said Baykar would not sell drones to Russia and was on the side of Ukraine.

  Mr. Bayraktar says that Turkey and Ukraine have strategic relations, especially in aerospace and defense. "These are years of effort," he adds. "Turkey is supporting Ukraine with armed drone technology. We also buy engines for drones from Ukraine. We have built relations with Ukraine based on a win-win principle, which gives advantages to both countries. And in that regard, we clearly support Ukraine," he also pointed out. Read more >> here <<

★ According to Turkey's Ministry of Health, COVID 19 cases in Turkey almost doubled in a week and reached 227,000 by July 17.

  Independent experts say that the numbers are much lower than the actuals.


★ On Thursday, the Turkish central bank announced that its monetary policy committee left a key interest rate unchanged at 14%, far lower than the inflation rate, the daily Duvar reports.

  The government claims that the inflation rate is 79%. However, independent experts calculate it as more like 176%.

  Economists say to bring down inflation Turkish central bank should increase the interest rate and call the policy of Mr. Erdoğan unsound. However, Mr. Erdoğan disagrees. As we reported to you last week, Mr. Erdoğan says that the soaring inflation is a continuation of the 2016 coup attempt, and unspecified powers are behind it.

  Read more >> here <<

★ Consumer confidence in Turkey improved most since November 2015 after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted to a jump in inflation by approving a series of impromptu pay increases for minimum wage earners, state employees, and retirees.

  The index of consumer confidence rose to 68 points in July from 63.4 points in June, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on its website on Wednesday.

★ According to the daily Duvar, former prime minister and current leader of the opposition Future Party Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he was concerned that "some incidents" in the form of wide civil unrest might occur in Turkey by the winter months.

  The comments by Dr. Davutoğlu came as allegations of a looming internal disorder that started to surface amid the deteriorating economic crisis.

  Earlier in July, Ümit Özdağ, the leader of Turkey's newly formed far-right Victory Party, claimed that a civil war was awaiting Turkey, which led the Interior Ministry to launch an investigation against him.

  Dr. Davutoğlu was a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party and a key ally of president Erdoğan for some years.

★ According to the daily Duvar, on July 18, retailers increased the prices of alcoholic beverages by 15 to 20%. The increase affected imported wine, vodka, and whiskey.

  Özgür Aybaş, the head of Turkish Liquor Stores Platform, said they were also expecting increases in beer prices.

  It is the fifth price hike on alcoholic beverages this year in Turkey.

★ According to the Trading Economics site, the Turkish government budget deficit widened to TL31.1 billion in June of 2022, from TL25.0 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year.

  Fiscal revenues soared 104.9 percent year-on-year to TL181.0 billion, of which TL152.6 billion was tax income while spending increased 87.1 percent to TL212.1 billion.

  In the first-half of the year, the budget showed a surplus of TL93.6 billion and a primary surplus of TL228.2 billion. Read more >> here <<

★ According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, real estate sales to Russians are helping with increased home purchases in Turkey. In June, the units sold were 11.7% higher annually and reached 151,000.

  In June, sales totaled 35,000 units. Russians purchased nearly 1900 homes, Iranians 987, Iraqis 807, Chinese 377, Ukrainians 301. From the West, Germans were at the top with 329 units.

  According to the Turkish central bank, The price of real estate was up nearly 130% in April compared to last year in local currency.


Edited by Saadet Ejder


★ ENKA Open Air Theater in Istanbul featured several concerts this week.

  On July 19, renowned Turkish rock music singer Nükhet Duru took the stage with the Pow Trio at ENKA Open Air Theater.

  On Friday, July 22, Fatma Turgut, another rock musician, appeared before her fans. The artist performed "I was there," her last hit, which she released in May.

  Folk songs of the folk poet Aşık Veysel also met the audience in the program, with Tuluğ Tırpan on the piano, Volkan Öktem on the drums, and jazz musician Eylem Pelit on the bass guitar.


★ Tekfen Foundation Music Scholarship announced the Young talents who won its awards.

  The jury evaluated the competitors with seven different criteria. The criteria are technique, musicality, intonation, stage presence, passion, potential, and grade level.

  In the 2022-2023 period, three more young talents will continue their musical education abroad with the support of the Tekfen Foundation.

  Tekfen Foundation, which started its Music Scholarship program in 2019, awards scholarships to students who will continue their undergraduate classical western music education abroad.

★ On July 19, Istanbul State Turkish Music Research and Implementation Ensemble was in front of the audience at Atatürk Cultural Center with famous songs dedicated to Istanbul.

  "Seven hills Songs Istanbul" Concert featuring names such as Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, Orhan Veli, Yesari Asım Ersoy, Münir Nurettin Selçuk, and Avni Anıl, made Istanbul live with their songs.

  In the concert, artists Berke Meyman, Ertan Bilgi, Esra Çelik Tokgöz, Gizem Nur Copçuoğlu and Şükrü Türkmen took the stage as soloists.

  The venue for the event was the Atatürk Cultural Center, Theater Hall.

★ Innovations continue at the five-star hotel Divan Bodrum with three venues with different concepts. Divan is in the southwestern Turkish town of Bodrum, an international destination for world holidaymakers.

  The venues are:
  There are live music performances by a DJ every day of the week and Yapı Kredi Kristal Live Night every Thursday.

  Divan Fit welcomes those who want a healthy and dynamic start to the day with Ece Vahapoğlu's yoga activity in the garden of the hotel every Wednesday.


★ A series of events titled İş Sanat Wednesday Stage will take place at Bodrum Zai Yaşam this summer. The program will include concerts, story recitals, reading theater, archaeology, and art talks.

  The events started with the Ece Göksu concert on July 20 and are free of charge every Wednesday until the end of summer.

  Ece Göksu will sing the unforgettable songs of three world-famous jazz women Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald.

  In addition, reading sessions featuring renowned Turkish writers will be in the short story event. Among the short stories are:
  Emrah Kolukısa will conduct the "Archaeology Talks" with the excavation heads.

  "Art Talks" will take place with Bedia Ceylan Güzelce's moderation.

★ Anatolia News Agency reports that stopping by Turkey on their European tour, the band Pink Martini will perform at Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater in Istanbul on July 26.

  Combining melodies and rhythms from many regions of the world, the band characterizes itself as musical archaeologists who present their findings in modern form.

  Featuring vocals by China Forbes and Storm Large, the band will perform a variety of tunes, including Brazilian street songs, French chansons, 1930s Cuban music, and Samurai love ballads.


EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 17.73

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 84/59 Mostly Sunny
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 102/81 Mostly Sunny
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 77/48 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 90/68 Mostly Sunny
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 102/81 Mostly Sunny
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 77/68 Showers

Sea temperatures
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         : 71
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      : 74
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          : 75
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 83


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ In the European volleyball championships under-17 category, the Turkish women's team beat its Serbian rivals 3 to 2 and elevated to the finals.

★ In the European Universities Volleyball Championship, Turkey's Beykent University team beat the Gazi University team 3 to 1 and became the European champion. The championship took place in Lodz, Poland.

★ In the 2022 European youth team chess championships, the Turkish national team took the second place in the 12-year-old boys' category but shared first place as the European champions. In the 18-year-old girls' category, Turkish girls came in second and received a silver medal. The championships were in Thessaloniki, Greece.

★ In the European Summer Para Games in Poland, Turkish autistic athletes received two bronze medals. In swimming, Duruk Davran came in third in the Men's 100 m Butterfly Swimming Category II1. Also, Ali Şiroğlu came in second in the Men's 100 m Butterfly Swimming Category II3.

  So far, on the fourth day of the competitions, Turkish athletes got two gold, six silver, and nine bronze medals totaling 17. The games will end today.

★ In the 52nd Under-20 Balkan Athletics Championships, Turkey's Arzu Atlı took the third-place in Javelin.

  The games were on July 16 and 17. The Turkish athletes received 17 gold, 14 silver, and eight bronze medals. As a team, they came in first.

★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish motorcycle racer Toprak Razgatlıoğlu clinched a second consecutive victory in England on Sunday.

  "It was an inseparable duo at the front of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field in Race 2 at Donington Park but Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was able to hold on after consistent challenges from Jonathan Rea to take his first hat-trick in WorldSBK during the Prosecco DOC UK Round," Superbike World Championship said in a statement.


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

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*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California

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