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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 01 April 2023
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 01 April 2023]
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 the Turkish daily Duvar, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the presidential candidate of Turkey's biggest opposition bloc Nation Alliance, launched his election campaign on March 27.
In the campaign video titled "I promise the spring will come again," the leader touched upon several political topics.
"I promise you...
"A Turkey that does not hurt each other, that loves and respects those who are different from they are.
"Turkey that embraces, not distances.
"A Turkey with a full stomach and an abundant heart;
"A Turkey that loves to live."
While he added that he promises
a "Turkey that believes in science, art, and the future," the video showed Turkey's prestigious Boğaziçi University, which came to the agenda with the long-lasting protest among academics and students.
The video, which also includes the football tribunes that came to the fore with the "government resign" slogans and the concerts canceled in the summer of 2022, ends with Kılıçdaroğlu saying, "We are coming for a Turkey that can sing its most beautiful songs loudly, and you can see it is joy in the eyes of its children. I promise you that spring will come again. Mr. Kemal will not break his promise."
In a second video, Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu continued to use the spring theme to point out the growing economic crisis, poverty, and increasing immigration of young generations to Western countries.
Turkey's presidential elections will be on May 14.
In addition to Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu,
- Current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from Justice and Development Party in the ruling coalition,
- Sinan Oğan from the far-right ATA Alliance's candidate, and
- Homeland Party leader Muharrem İnce
will run for the presidency.
>> here <<
★ According to the daily Duvar, thousands of domestic violence victims staying in women's shelters in Turkey will again not vote this year amid concerns that their abusers might find out about their addresses.
The number of women who had avoided voting in March 31, 2019, elections was 30,000. >> here <<
★ Louise Callaghan, writing in the Sunday Times of Britain, said that Gen Z Turks get ready to put "unbeatable" Erdoğan out of a job.
According to Callaghan, Mr. Erdoğan hopes to extend his 20-year rule in May's elections, but young voters angry at his illiberal policies have other ideas.
She gave examples of former supporters of Erdoğan from among the young Turks that turned against him. One of the reasons was the repeat of the 2019 Istanbul municipal elections.
The Justice and Development Party administration forced the supposedly independent Higher Elections Council to cancel the first elections when their candidate lost it to the opposition candidate by a small margin, citing trumped-up irregularities.
In the repeat, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the opposition candidate, won by a large margin.
Read Callaghan's report >> here <<
★ According to Reuters, on March 30, the Turkish Parliament ratified to allow Finland to join NATO.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is supposed Sweden's membership for not doing enough to address Turkey's concerns about what he terms "terrorists" living in Sweden.
Protests by Kurdish activists and a Koran burning rally by a dual citizen of Denmark and Sweden did not also help with Swedish aspirations to become a NATO member.
Read the full Reuters article >> here <<
★ According to retired ambassador Philip Kosnett, Center for European Policy Analysis, a U. S. departure from İncirlik, a strategic air base in southern Turkey, would remind Turkey that its influence has limits.
Ambassador Kosnett said:
"Turkey's blocking of Swedish NATO membership is disappointing but not disastrous. Nonetheless, this would be a good moment to set alliance security ties with Turkey on a businesslike path and remind Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that his allies can only be pushed so far."
He then advocated that the U. S. remove its forces from the İncirlik Air Base.
In addition to holding up Sweden and Finland's NATO membership for months, he cites other Turkish policies like assisting Russian sanctions evasion as reasons to depart from the base.
Read Ambassador Kosnett's full article >> here <<
★ Analysts say the Justice and Development Party's persecution of its perceived opponents with trumped-up charges is continuing. This week there was such a case.
Despite being acquitted four times, sociologist Pınar Selek stands trial again for involvement in the bombing of Istanbul's Spice Bazaar in 1998.
An Istanbul court on March 31 ruled for the continuation of the arrest warrant against Selek living in exile in France since 2009.
The main opposition Republican People's party, Workers Party of Turkey, Peoples Democratic Party, human rights activists, international delegations, French deputies, and Strasbourg deputy mayor attended the hearing at the court.
★ According to the daily Duvar
, Cemil Kılıç, an Islamic theologian and religious education teacher, announced that unknown people assaulted him. Shouting "God is great," attackers hit him with sticks.
Mr. Kılıç is known for his harsh criticisms of Islamic cults and their leaders in Turkey.
Mr. Kılıç said what he termed terrorist organizations threatened him for four months.
"They want to intimidate not only me but the whole society. We will continue our struggle without hesitation," Mr. Kılıç added.
★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan finally expressed regret for giving amnesties to shoddy buildings.
Experts say the wide-scale destruction in the February 6 earthquake zone is mainly because of these amnesties.
On March 29, on a TV channel, Mr. Erdoğan said they could no longer think about amnesties. Otherwise, Turks would face what they experienced in the latest earthquake.
Just before the general elections in 2018, with the votes of the ruling coalition of the Justice and Development Party and Nationalist Action Party, a legislative package was approved that gave amnesty to hundreds of thousands of buildings throughout Turkey. Mr. Erdoğan later boasted in several election campaign speeches about it.
The amnesty law paved the way for illegal construction and lack of supervision, as was the case for the previous ones.
According to official figures, the February 6 earthquakes collapsed or damaged more than 200,000 buildings. The official death toll is around 50,000, but experts say it may be as high as 200,000. One expert claimed that it might be as much as 500,000.
★ According to the figures disclosed by TOBB, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, the number of companies that shut down in Turkey in February increased by 52 percent to 1178 compared to the same month of last year amid the dragging economic crisis and impact of the devastating earthquakes.
The TOBB report also disclosed that 9,473 new firms were established in February, showing a 33.5 percent decrease compared to the previous month and a 3.8 percent decrease compared to February 2022.
★ The Economists had an article on the Turkish economy titled "Ahead of a critical election, Turkey's economy is running on borrowed time."
The article added that with the Turkish currency down 80% against the dollar, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's medicine is not working.
By slashing interest rates, even in the face of galloping prices, and thereby allowing the lira to plummet, Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hoped to turbocharge the country's economy by making exports cheaper and encouraging domestic production. The policy mix, repackaged as Turkey's "new economic program", would bring inflation down to single digits ahead of this year's presidential and parliamentary elections, his finance minister pledged. Things have not exactly gone according to plan.
Imports, now much more expensive but necessary, have dwarfed exports, landing Turkey with its biggest current-account deficit for four decades. Inflation may have dipped from a high of 85% last year, thanks less to government policies than to base effects, but it remains by far the highest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Growth continues, but that is thanks less to exports than to an unsustainable surge in consumption. Mr. Erdoğan's economic model seems to have run its course.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Edited by Saadet Ejder
Click on picture to go to the festival pages
★ After a three-year hiatus, the 37th International Ankara Music Festival is back. The Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation organized the longest-running international event in the Turkish capital with determination and diligence for 36 years on behalf of Ankara residents. The musical events will meet with art lovers between April 4-28.
The proceeds from the events will go to earthquake victims.
The organizers prepared the festival with the belief in the necessity of the existence of art and the healing power of music despite the extreme pain experienced in Turkey.
In the program, artists from Azerbaijan, Italy, Spain, England, Indonesia, Taiwan, Czechia, USA, Macedonia, Croatia, China, and especially distinguished artists raised by Turkey will take part.
There will be close to 355 artists and ensembles who will present outstanding examples of classical music and jazz.
There will be 17 concerts and performances in the symphonic concert, modern ballet, flamenco, chamber music, choir, jazz, and recital. In addition, there will be four guitar master classes and a ballet workshop.
Click on picture to go to the museum site
★ An exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey at the İşbank Museum is on.
The name of the exhibition is "Long Live the Republic! The First Steps of Economic Independence during the Atatürk Era."
The exhibition takes its inspiration from a quote by Turkey's first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: "No matter how great the political and military victories are, if economic victory does not crown them, the result cannot be permanent." The exhibition focuses on the development of economic and social life.
★ Dubbed "My Job, My Kitchen," Metro Turkey initiated a project to support restaurants in the February 6 earthquake zone
Metro Turkey, a restaurant supply company, is one of the most important business partners for the food and beverage industry. The new project intends to support the recovery of the restaurants in the region affected by the earthquake to keep the culinary culture of Turkey alive.
As part of the project, Metro Turkey is enabling Antakya Sultan Sofrası, Maraş Paça Kebap Restaurant, Malatya Hacı Baba Restaurant, and Antakya Pöç Butcher and Kebap Hall to organize fast-breaking organizations at Gastronometro during Ramadan.
Gastronometro will be providing space, product, and service support. The goal is to have restaurants open their doors again with the income from the project.
★ The 59th of Libraries Week, celebrated every year to raise awareness about libraries and the librarianship profession in Turkey, started on March 27 with the participation of researchers, academics, librarians, public institutions and organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
The first event of the week, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the theme of "Library Heals" this year, took place in the Turkish capital Ankara.
★ In the 6th Denizbank First Script First Film Competition, organized in cooperation with Denizbank and the Turkish Cinema Audiovisual Culture Foundation (TÜRSAK), will take place soon.
The organizers are selecting The jury members who will evaluate the projects participating in the "TV Series – Mini-Series Scenario Competition," "First Script Competition," and "Production Support Platform."
Click on picture above to see a larger view
★ According to the website Archeology News, Bulgarian archaeologists found an amulet belonging to a Bulgarian Regiment that put a siege to ancient Istanbul.
Czar Simeon's armies besieged the city in the 10th century. On their way to Istanbul, the Bulgarian army camp near a village in the modern-day Haskova province of Bulgaria.
There the soldiers wrote on a lead leaf an 11-line prayer for triumph.
★ Turkish authorities arrested four people excavating with heavy equipment at an archaeological site.
The site, containing the remains of a Roman-era indoor market, is in the Amasra district of Turkey's black sea province of Bartın.
In the Gebze district of Kocaeli province in northwestern Turkey, rural police caught two suspects with 80 historical gold coins.
The two are under custody for suspected historical artifact smuggling.
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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