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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 27 August 2022
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 27 August 2022]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ On August 21, six Turkish opposition leaders gathered for their sixth meeting.
They announced their will to nominate a joint presidential candidate to run against
current president Erdoğan, the Turkish daily Duvar reports.
The meeting was at the Felicity Party headquarters in the capital Ankara. The next meeting will be on October 2 at the main opposition Republican People's Party headquarters.
★ According to the Anatolia news agency, Turkish defense minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday that more than 721,000 tons of Ukrainian grain made it to the world markets since Turkey and the United Nations brokered a deal between Ukraine and Russia.
On July 22, Turkey, the U. N., Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports of Yuzhny, Chornomorsk, and
Odessa, which halted due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its sixth month.
On August 20, Mr. Akar and U. N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a meeting with the officials at the
Joint Control Center in Istanbul on the grain shipment process.
★ Turks are concerned about the fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.
At a news conference after a trilateral meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U. N. chief Antonio Guterres
last Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "We do not want to experience a new Chernobyl."
★ According to Voice of America, Turkey is touting its recent success in brokering a deal to free up grain trapped in Ukrainian ports as a good reason for why it should maintain close ties with Russia.
Those relations deepen further as Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to attend a Russia-China security alliance meeting next month.
Political analyst İlhan Uzgel of the Duvar news portal said: "Erdoğan grabbed a role diplomatically, showing to the West that Turkey can be a useful actor in this region, mitigating the adverse effects of the food crisis globally. So, he plays it domestically and internationally as he did in many instances."
VOA adds that Turkey also refuses to enforce Western sanctions against Russia.
Read more >> here <<
★ Official representatives from Turkey, Finland, and Sweden met close to the Finnish capital on Friday to advance the bids by the two Nordic countries to join the NATO alliance, reports Deutsche Welle.
Talks in Vantaa city were the first since the three signed an agreement in Madrid in June.
Turkey is the only NATO member to oppose the accession of
Finland and Sweden, claiming they had imposed an arms embargo against Turkey while harboring individuals it deems terrorists.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto described the meeting as setting out goals for cooperation and establishing contacts as agreed in Madrid.
After the meeting, his ministry said, "The participants discussed the concrete steps to implement the Trilateral Memorandum and agreed that [the countries] will continue to meet at the expert level during the autumn."
Turkish presidential policy advisor İbrahim Kalın, who represented Turkey in the meeting, said that Stockholm and Helsinki were open to the Turkish demands.
★ According to Reuters, Turks applying for visas to the European Union are increasingly being rejected, data shows, and tours are being canceled.
Turkish officials said this week it was a deliberate effort to put President Erdoğan in a difficult position ahead of tight elections next year, a charge the European Union denies.
Reuters then tells the story of a sports reporter Sinem Ökten. Ms. Ökten used to travel to Europe without difficulty to cover sports events. Recently, however, her applications for a visa to Germany and then to France were rejected.
Ms. Ökten said the German embassy gave no reason for rejecting her application. A document from the French embassy, seen by Reuters, said it did not see enough evidence that the TV presenter could finance her stay in France or return to Turkey.
According to data from schengenvisainfo.com, 16.5% of applicants from Turkey last year were denied a visa, up from 12.5% a year earlier. European Union rejections were only 4% in 2015 and started ramping up in 2017 for Turks.
Read more >> here <<
★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkish Scientists in western Turkey have designed a device to monitor the blood flow velocity in multiple vessels at once.
"It is possible to imagine and measure the vessels with different sizes and velocities at the same time thanks to this technology," Dr. Serhat Tozburun of the Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center told Anatolia News Agency.
Having developed the device that allows for 3D optical imaging by rapidly scanning laser wavelengths, Dr. Tozburun and his team received a patent in July for the technology. It improves on existing methods that do not account for varying flow velocities in blood vessels of different thicknesses.
Previously Dr. Tozburun worked in the U.S. at Harvard Medical School and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital as a postdoctoral research fellow until
2016 before returning to Turkey.
He received his M.S. degree in Physics from Koç University, Turkey, in 2007. His research there focused on a theoretical and experimental investigation of near-infrared pulsed solid-state lasers and the mechanism of passive Q-switching. He received his Ph. D. degree in the Optical Science and Engineering program from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012.
In his doctoral research, he worked on optical stimulation of prostate nerves, using infrared laser radiation as a potential alternative to conventional electrical nerve stimulation.
Read more >> here <<
★ Real estate business in the Mediterranean province of Antalya in Turkey is booming, thanks to the Russians and Ukrainians, Turkish news outlet Bianet writes.
Antalya realtors have rarely been so busy, according to Birol Yazar, who translates Russian and Ukrainian legal documents for his father's real estate agency in Konyaaltı, a district popular with foreign residents.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, Birol said he would get one or two translation jobs a day. Since March, he has been getting 10-15.
"More Ukrainians came than Russians at first, but then many more Russians came because of the sanctions," Birol said. "They did not trust the banks. The way we saw it, they did not feel safe there. It was best to come to Turkey and open bank accounts here."
Throughout much of 2022, citizens of Russia have been leading a record surge in home purchases by foreigners in Turkey, accounting for 26 percent of nationwide home sales to foreigners in July, according to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute.
Last month, the institute ranked Antalya as the top choice among foreign home buyers.
Read more >> here <<
★ Hilton Hotels plans to increase the number of its venues and staff in Turkey, the regional president of the chain for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey said on Friday.
"Turkey is a fantastic region for us. It is the fourth-largest region outside of the U. S.," Jochem-Jan Sleiffer told Anatolia News Agency in an interview, noting that Hilton had recently signed its 100th hotel in the country.
Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton hotels, opened the first Hilton Hotel outside of the U. S. 55 years ago in Istanbul.
★ According to Turkey's leading business association TÜSİAD, on August 23, it received a letter from the U.S. treasury warning that Turkish companies risks being penalized if they maintain commercial ties with Russians under sanctions.
On August 26, Turkish finance Minister Nureddin Nebati dismissed concerns among Turkish businesses over the letter as meaningless.
Mr. Nebati said, "We are pleased to see that the United States, our ally and trade partner, is inviting its businesses to invest in our economy."
Some Turkish firms have purchased Russian assets from Western partners pulling back, while others maintained their holdings in Russia. Turkish officials have said Turks will not circumvent the Western sanctions.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Saadet Ejder
★ On Tuesday, Hollywood star Russell Crowe called on all his fans to visit Turkey, reports the Anatolia News Agency.
"I love Turkey so much. What an endlessly fascinating and beautiful country," Crowe said on Twitter.
"If you have never been to Turkey, you really should make a plan to go," added the New Zealand-born star of several blockbusters, including sword-and-sandals epic Gladiator from 2000.
Many liked the post by the famed actor and shared it.
For his 2014 movie, The Water Diviner, set in the aftermath of the World War II Battle of Gallipoli, Çanakkale – a film Crowe both directed and starred in – the famous actor visited Turkey.
★ The Fourth International GastroAntep Festival starts on September 15. Gaziantep Development Foundation supports the festival.
World-renowned Michelin-starred chefs, gourmets, life coaches, dietitians, and agricultural producers will attend.
Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin said: "Our theme this year is sustainability. Now we want to specialize in vegan and vegetarian dishes."
She added: "We do soil analysis in the region and determine the seed according to the analysis. We create a main seed and ancestral seed library."
The festival will also include excursions, museum visits, shows, concerts, and many fun events.
Gaziantep is in southeastern Turkey, renowned for its dishes and desserts.
The event will end on September 18.
★ One of the İş Sanat Wednesday Stage activities dubbed "The Most Beautiful Love Scenes" reading theater took place in Bodrum Zai Life.
The organizers chose Bitez, Bodrum, an area with plenty of olive trees, for the event.
Zai Yaşam takes its name from the word "zai," which is the mythological name of olive.
There are many olive trees under protection in the area. People have named each tree after an artist.
The event includes concerts and talks on archaeology and art.
İş Sanat Wednesday Stage continues free of charge at Zai Yaşam until the end of summer.
★ On September 16, Istanbul's Zorlu Performing Arts Center starts its 10th season.
The opening ceremony will take place with the world premiere of Turkish composer and pianist Fazıl Say's new work "The Tree of Life" suite.
Violinist Jamal Aliyev, a promising young talent, will accompany Say's piano in the piece.
Media artist Refik Anadol will present his digitally designed sculpture to the audience at the Tree of Life performance. Fazıl Say's work inspired him, and he used artificial intelligence technology while making the sculpture. While depicting the "Tree of Life," the artist defines it as a deep-rooted symbol of time. He tells people about memories and the feeling of not losing hope with melodies.
★ The 60th Yogurt Festival took place in Silivri between August 12-14.
Silivri is a city and a district in Turkey's Istanbul Province along the Sea of Marmara. It is renowned for its yogurt.
The festival included exhibitions, tournaments, a festival for children, fishing and yogurt-making competitions, and a Yıldız Tilbe concert.
The competition jury consisted of academics working in the Gastronomy and Culinary Arts Department of Rumeli University. Ufuk Tunç won first place in the Yogurt Fermentation Competition.
On the last day, Silivri Mayor Volkan Yılmaz gave a speech about the history of his city. He cited the prominent people who have lived there for centuries and their importance.
★ The Festival committee determined the Films to compete at the International Adana Golden Boll Film Festival.
Eight films will compete in the National Feature Film Competition. The festival, held for the 29th time, will be between September 12-18.
At the festival, directors Gizem Kızıl's "Tell Me About Your Darkness", Serpil Altın's "Once Upon a Time: 2121", Ali Kemal Güven's "Drinking Table", Ziya Demirel's "Ela, Hilmi and Ali", Ümran Safter "Nightmare" and Cem Demirer's "Venture", Çiğdem Sezgin's "Suna" and Tareq Daoud's "Stranger."
An award ceremony will be on September 17 for the winning films.
★ Late Thursday, a Turkish court arrested Turkish pop star Gülşen on charges of inciting hatred and enmity over remarks she made on religious schools that have sparked international headlines and backlash across the country.
The police detained the 46-year-old singer-songwriter in her Istanbul home earlier on Thursday and arrested her hours later by an Istanbul court pending her trial, BBC reported.
The police detained Turkish pop star Gülşen in her Istanbul home earlier on Thursday. Hours later, an Istanbul court arrested her on charges of inciting hatred and enmity over remarks she made on religious schools.
The arrest has sparked international headlines and backlash across the country.
The charges stem from an April concert by the 46-year-old singer-songwriter star, during which she teased one of her musicians by saying that his education at an Imam Hatip religious school caused his "perversion."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and many of his administration officials are graduates of these schools.
Footage of the pop star, known for her daring attire, began circulating on social media earlier this week, with a Twitter hashtag urging her arrest.
On Thursday, Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ took to Twitter to condemn the musician over her remarks, labeling them as hateful and archaic.
★ Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed governors for banning concerts throughout the country, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.
On August 23, the governor of the Aegean province of Muğla canceled the Million Fest Fethiye, among the biggest music festivals in Turkey. Sixteen famous artists planned to attend the music festival.
The decision caused a big uproar on social media, with several people saying that the cancellation had a political motive. Officials said that it was over ecological concerns. They claimed too many people, camping sites, pedestrian and vehicle traffic, noise, and light might damage the balance of nature.
Earlier this month, the Burhaniye District governor canceled the Zeytinli Rock Festival on the Aegean coast for public security.
There were many other cancellations in the near past.
In May, Arzu Geybullayeva wrote on the Global Voices website that concerts are becoming a political battleground in Turkey.
She said that a series of concert bans is drawing backlash in Turkey, with criticisms against the ruling Justice and Development Party for imposing conservative restrictions on citizens and the arts sector. She added that a few religious organizations are also lobbying for the cancellation of concerts.
Interior of the Hagia Sophia
★ SEA, the Association of Greek Archaeologists, published an open letter Monday (August 22, 2022), calling on UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay to "intervene forcefully" to protect the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Hagia Sophia, one of the most important religious and cultural sites in the world, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Originally constructed as a church, the Turkish government converted the structure to a mosque in 2020 in a highly controversial decision. In the years since, the Byzantine-era cathedral has seen increased damage and vandalism, according to SEA.
In the letter, SEA asked UNESCO, under whose protection the site falls, to "intervene forcefully to reverse the current situation, which only poses risks for Hagia Sophia." SEA described the current management of the site as "destructive."
Constructed by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I between 532 and 537, the Hagia Sophia served as the largest Christian cathedral in the world until 1453. At that time, Constantinople was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and the Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque. It was then converted into a museum by Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1935.
The open letter comes on the heels of recent damage to the Hagia Sophia's marble floors incurred during a cleaning mishap, along with vandalism over the last two years to well-known art and architecture within the building such as the Imperial Gate and the mosaic Theotokos. Read more >> here <<
★ Another article on the Art News website wrote that Anatolia, the heartland of Turkey, is home to an eclectic, if remote, variety of emerging arts initiatives and institutions. It is host to a growing group of curators, artists, and cultural workers who have kept busy.
The video-centric art space Monitor in Izmir is staging conceptually rigorous shows, the Mardin Biennial is readying its latest edition, contemporary artists are flocking to the Dou PrintStudio in Ankara to create lithographs, Bursa's İmalat-Hane is hosting some of Turkey's most cutting-edge shows, and the FIRIN art space in Eskişehir is thinking through urgent issues related to the country's water crisis.
Spanning from the Asian shore front of the Bosphorus to the coastlines of three interconnected seas - Black, Aegean, Mediterranean - and sharing territorial borders with Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, the Anatolian region is an embattled ground. Its artists and their colleagues are on the front lines of a struggle to preserve its pluralist heritage.
Once hailed as the subcontinent of Asia Minor, it is believed to be the birthplace of Homer and Herodotus, and its towns and cities are home to a dissonant harmony of peoples, histories, and ecologies. Here, Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Levantine, Grecian, Romany, and Afro-Turkish cultures blend, and multicultural identities intermingle.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 18.15
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 91/68 Mostly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 88/73 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 91/59 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 88/72 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean : 88/73 Thunderstorms
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 84/77 Partly Cloudy
Seawater Temperatures in Degrees F
Black Sea measured at Trabzon : 78
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ : 78
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir : 80
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 90
Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz
* Results for week: 36
Ümrani̇ye - G. Saray 0 - 1
Antalya - Trabzon 5 - 2
Giresun - Kasımpaşa 1 - 0
Hatay - G. Antep 1 - 2
Beşiktaş - K.gümrük 4 - 1
Başakşehir - Kayseri 2 - 0
Istanbul Sp. - Konya 0 - 4
Fenerbahçe - Adana 4 - 2
Sivas - Alanya 1 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
G. Antep - Antalya 5 - 2
K.gümrük - Ankaragücü 4 - 1
Adana - Ümrani̇ye 1 - 0
Alanya - Istanbul Sp. 0 - 1
Kayseri - Giresun -
Trabzon - G. Saray -
Kasımpaşa - Hatay -
Beşiktaş - Sivas -
Konya - Fenerbahçe -
★ On Saturday, Turkeys National Men's Volleyball A Team defeated China 3-0 in its first match of the FIVB World Volleyball Championship. The championship is taking place in Slovenia's capital Ljubljana.
★ On August 25, competing in the 2nd Round I Group of the FIBA 2023 World Cup Qualifiers, Turkey's National Men's Basketball Team lost to Latvia on the road with a score of 111-85. The game took place in the that in capital Riga. The next game will be with the Serbian national team.
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