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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 May 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 20 May 2023]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Turkish voters will return to the polls on May 28 for a runoff election after longtime leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his main rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu failed to win more than 50% of the vote on Sunday, reports National Public Radio.

  Kılıçdaroğlu, a former bureaucrat who leads Turkey's main secular opposition party, speaks about restoring Turkey's relationships with the U.S. and Europe while maintaining its relations with Moscow. The outcome of the election could potentially mean big changes for NATO.

  Erdoğan is popular with his conservative base and defied pre-election forecasts by taking 49.4% of the vote on Sunday. But he had the full force of state media behind him.

  In the years since he came to power, Erdoğan's reputation has evolved, with the leader no longer seen as a like-minded person among Turkey's Western allies.

  Erdoğan faces his strongest challenge so far in Kılıçdaroğlu. Analysts believe a Kılıçdaroğlu victory would mean a return to democratic norms, pro-NATO foreign policy, and more cooperation with the U.S.

  So far, the Biden administration has avoided picking sides in the Turkish election, but in 2020, Biden called Erdoğan an autocrat and suggested the U.S. should support the opposition. Erdoğan has been capitalizing on that criticism.

  Analysts expect Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu to meet with Nationalist third-party candidate Sinan Oğan, and analysts say a deal between Erdoğan and Oğan could win him another term.

  The complete article is >> here <<

★ Here are some additional news headlines:

  From the Turkish daily Duvar:

  Former Istanbul district mayor Sarıgül returned to Turkish politics.

  Recently known for his TikTok videos where he shouts and slaps objects in the face of expensive items and rising inflation, voters elected Mustafa Sarıgül as a lawmaker from Erzincan province from the main opposition Republican People's Party.

  Even though Turkey's presidential race went to a second round on May 14, the parliamentary elections are over. Most of the 600 MPs who will serve for five years are from the right-wing political traditions, with many from ultra-nationalist and radical Islamist backgrounds.

  There are at least 404 MPs who identify themselves as "nationalist," "conservative," or "nationalist-conservative."

  The number of women MPs increased from 100 to 121 in this term. There are 50 women MPs in Justice and Development, 30 in Republican People's, 30 in Greens and the Left Future, four in Nationalist Action parties, and one in the Workers Party of Turkey.

  The Workers Party of Turkey has the highest ratio of women MPs as it has strict women quotas in its election lists.

  The Woman State of Solidarity Association (DAKAHDER) in the tent city set up by volunteers in quake-torn Adıyaman's Narlıkuyu district in eastern Turkey stated that the needs of earthquake victims are not over. They said that others forgot most of the women quake victims' needs during the election process in the country.

  In the first press conference after the May 14 elections, opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu once again vowed to deport refugees, but this time raised his tone. Kılıçdaroğlu accused Erdoğan of not "protecting the borders and honor of the country by bringing more than 10 million refugees."

  The main opposition bloc's presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will go for a more aggressive and nationalist campaign for the second round despite the spring-themed first-round election campaign praising values like "fraternity" and "inclusiveness." After Sinan Oğan, the third presidential candidate garnered 5.17 percent of the votes and became a "kingmaker," Kılıçdaroğlu's strategy would become to attract the far-right voters.

  Turkey's Presidential Communications Directorate, controlled by Fahrettin Altun, spent 282.9 million liras in April alone. The opposition politicians have often criticized the directorate for spreading false information and manipulating elections.

★ On May 17, Hannah Lucinda Smith, The Times Istanbul reporter, wrote that the opposition is complaining about cheating in the elections.

  They said tens of thousands of votes cast in Sunday's elections appear to have been entered wrongly into the official registration system, potentially handing President Erdoğan and his party a larger share.

  A vice chairman of the opposition Republican People's Party said that they detected discrepancies in almost 5000 ballot boxes. There are over 200,000 boxes in total.

  In some areas of the country where people tend to vote for the pro-Kurdish party, not a single vote appeared in the results. All the votes went to the extreme-right Nationalist Action Party.

  Surveys before the elections indicated that the Nationalist Action Party would not fetch more than 7% of the votes for the parliamentary elections. However, they ended up with 11%.

  In the presidential election, the claim of cheating may have boosted Mr. Erdoğan's to 49 1/2% and relegated Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu to 45%, just the opposite of what polls were forecasting.

  However, Hannah Lucinda Smith thinks that the transfer of votes was not enough to change the outcomes of either election.

★ Turkey's market rout deepened on May 16 amid investor expectations that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would be able to extend his rule - and his unorthodox economic policies - into a third decade, the daily Duvar reports.

  Banking stocks and sovereign dollar bonds slid for a second day. The cost of insuring exposure to Turkish debt rose further after Erdoğan defied expectations in the May 14 presidential race, securing just under the 50% threshold needed to win outright and giving him the lead over opposition rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu ahead of the May 28 runoff vote.

★ During January-April 2023, Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya was the top spot for real estate for foreigners. They purchased 5200 homes. In April alone, the sales of homes added up to 4900 homes. It makes the 38% of the total sales in Turkey.

  With 35% of the sales or 4700 homes, Russians again topped the list of foreigners in Turkey during this period.

  The Antalya sales figures are down 39% compared to last year's of almost 8100 homes.

  In the meantime, opposition presidential candidate Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu said that he would ban home sales to foreigners when he assumes power. Real estate analysts say that sales to foreigners are increasing their prices for Turkish citizens.


Edited by Saadet Ejder


  See a larger view of the birds and read the full article >> here <<

★ After two years abroad, Turkish glass artist Feleksan Onar's glass birds came home, the daily Duvar reports.

  Onar always thought that her birds without wings, fragile creatures in gem colors, had to fly home eventually. Home, to her, was Istanbul. The glass sparrows had been "perched" in Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Pergamon Museum in Berlin, and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden. Finally, last week, the birds found a new home at Istanbul's Sadberk Hanım Museum, a historical mansion that overlooks the Bosphorus.

  At the Sadberk Hanım Museum, her new exhibition, "After Utopia: The Birds," combines the birds with items from the museum's extensive archeology collection.

  The archaeological objects in the exhibition, handpicked by Onar and curator Arie Amaya-Akkermans, include a marble Kilia figurine from the Bronze Age, a partridge-shaped drinking vessel from the Old Assyrian ceramics period, and Ottoman tiles from Iznik with boats and birds on them.

★ According to National Public Radio, Yeah. Researchers at Özyeğin University and Middle East Technical University in Turkey found out how to keep your gummy candies optimally gummy.

  Researchers published a paper detailing gummy candy experiments to determine how different storage and temperature conditions would affect the result.

  To keep gummies soft, reduce the cornstarch, increase the gelatin in the mix, and store them at warm room temperature.

  Gummy candies undergo the glass transition process when they get cold, making them lose some of their flexibility and chewiness.

★ Unilever Food Solutions published the Future Menu Trends 2023 report, prepared after 12 months of work in more than 25 countries.

  During the preparation process of the report, the predictions of more than 250 Unilever Food Solutions chefs and more than 1,600 chefs from all over the world were listened to.

  After its global launch at Unilever's food innovation center Hive, the official Turkish launch of the report took place with the participation of important chefs and food industry experts from around the world and Turkey.

  Among the five trends suggested for Turkey are:

  Other trends are "Foods Collected From Nature," "Foods That Feel Good," and designated "Conscious Protein."

★ Metro Turkey introduced its new breakfast product catalog and breakfast products with 650 varieties at a party at Galataport Liman Restaurant.

  Turkey's leading chefs prepared delicious recipes with Metro Chef products in line with the 2023 breakfast trends.

  Participants tasted the following:




★ You can't get enough of the kebabs prepared with spring fruits and the unripened green almond dish.

  Gaziantep cuisine has flavors for every season. It also applies to kebabs.

  For this reason, it is necessary to go to Gaziantep in four seasons to taste all varieties of kebabs and delicacies.

  Sahan Restaurants are one of the places where you can find these delicacies in Istanbul. Tahir Tekin Öztan, the owner of the Sahan Restaurants chain, is a businessman and chef who aims to introduce Turkish cuisine, especially Gaziantep cuisine, to the whole world.

  One can taste the flavors of spring, the heralds of summer, Çağla Aş, an unripened almond dish, New World Kebab, and Garlic Kebabs with him.

  It is impossible not to be impressed by the look, smell, and presentation of kebabs.

  Unfortunately, they are only available until mid-June. Once the season is over, you have to wait a year!

★ There is a new point of discovery, culture, and experience in Istanbul metropolis: WE Istanbul

  WE Istanbul brought to life with the brand creator Kaya Demirer within the body of Doğuş Group, ranked first among newly opened restaurants.

  Doğuş designed WE with the desire to reflect the cultural diversity of Istanbul, which hosted various civilizations for hundreds of years, to introduce this richness to the world and celebrate the culture, traditions, and rituals of the coexistence of different ethnicities.

  It aims to provide the restaurant guests with an Istanbul experience distilled from history, in dialogue with the past and the present, and within the framework of cultural sustainability, transfer the ancient food culture of the city to future generations and keep the forgotten values, traditions, rituals, eating and drinking habits of Istanbul cuisine alive.

  Experienced chef Tolga Atalay oversees the preparation of the dishes.

★ The inspiring story of Arif Develi, the backbone of the 111-year-old brand, became a documentary.

  Develi, the founder of Develi Restaurants, started working at his grandfather's 300-square-ft restaurant in Gaziantep when six-years-old.

  At age 22, putting his culinary skills and honesty in his suitcase, he said "hello" to Istanbul and carried this flavor to the Samatya neighborhood.

  That flavor carrying the traces of 111 years of history, has turned into the "Develi" brand over time. The story of the brand's hero, Arif Develi, was prepared to be passed on to future generations with the documentary "Becoming Arif." The documentary will be on June 6 at Zorlu PSM with a concert by the doyen of Turkish pop music, Erol Evgin.

  Maiden tower before restoration.

  Copyright by Dick Osseman, shown with his permission. http://www.pbase.com/dosseman/

★ Restoration of Maiden's Tower is complete, and it reopened its doors in its original form.

  Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism restored The Maiden's Tower, one of the iconic structures of Istanbul, using original materials.

  The last restoration of the Maiden's Tower was during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Mahmut II in the early 1800s.

  The recent restoration removed the structures next to the building unsuitable for its character that people added recently.

  The Maiden's Tower will continue to be a monumental museum where one can watch Istanbul best.

★ The "Frames from Life Through Women's Eyes" photography contest, organized annually by Anadolu Life Retirement, took place for the 17th time this year.

  In the competition that brought together women photographers, Sümeyye Yanık won first place with her photo titled "Charcoal Makers."

  See the photographs of the competition >> here <<

★ According to a survey conducted by shopping site Avatanjix.com, the cost of dating has exceeded 3500 liras per month in Turkey, reports the daily Duvar.

  The survey asked 1000 random participants aged 27-35 how much they spent during their dates.

  Accordingly, couples meet on average ten times per month and watch a movie or a play and eat. The survey shows the average cost of a date is 350 liras ($18.65). This cost increases during special days like Valentine's Day, a birthday, or an anniversary.

  This cost decreases to 250 liras for couples who have dated for two years.

  By U.S. standards, 3500 liras is not much. However, with the eroding purchasing power since the salaries are not rising as much as the costs, it is significant for Turks.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 19.81

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 70/50 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 72/63 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 59/45 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 68/57 Showers
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 79/61 Mostly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 64/55 Thunderstorms


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz


Premier League

* Results for previous week:
Alanya          -      Konya             0 - 3
Istanbul        -      G. Saray          0 - 2
Sivas           -      Kasımpaşa         1 - 2
Ankaragücü      -      Antalya           1 - 1
K.gümrük        -      Adana             2 - 3
Başakşehir      -      Ümrani̇ye          1 - 1
Beşiktaş        -      G. Antep          3 - 0
Giresun         -      Hatay             3 - 0
Fenerbahçe      -      Trabzon           3 - 1

* In games played so far this weekend:
Kasımpaşa       -      Istanbul   1 - 0
G. Saray        -      Sivas      2 - 0
Kayseri         -      Alanya     0 - 4
Hatay           -      Fenerbahçe   -
Adana           -      Beşiktaş     -
G. Antep        -      Giresun      -
Ümrani̇ye        -      Ankaragücü   -
Antalya         -      Başakşehir   -
Trabzon         -      K.gümrük     -

* Standing in the league as of the previous week end
 1 - G. Saray         76
 2 - Fenerbahçe      71
 3 - Beşiktaş        71
 4 - Adana           63
 5 - Başakşehir      52
 6 - Konya           49
 7 - Kayseri         49
 8 - Trabzon         48
 9 - K.gümrük        44
10 - Alanya          38
11 - Sivas           37
12 - Antalya         37
13 - Kasımpaşa       37
14 - Ankaragücü      36
15 - Istanbul        35
16 - Giresun         31
17 - Ümrani̇ye        27
18 - G. Antep        25
19 - Hatay           23


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


*** Turkish American Association of California

is a non-profit
charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.

if you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
e-mail them at taac@taaca.org


*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California

Organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list by sending an email to:



Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
16400 Lark Ave., Suite 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032

*** Turkish schools in the Bay Area are starting:

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Our online school is starting in September. There are some innovations in our new term program, which we will start in September 2022.

We have prepared more enjoyable posts with your happy feedbacks from you.

 > By the principles of language learning; listening, speaking, reading, writing activities
 > Kitchen Workshop
 > Anatolian Civilizations
 > Interactive Games
 > Periodic Projects
 > Skill Workshops
 > Our Holidays
 > Bodily Activities
 > Traditional Music
 > About This Day

See you in September, love...

*** Turkish Folk Dancing with TUFOD in the South Bay

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Or visit their web pages at https://www.tufod.org/

*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
Providing scholarships and bringing people together while promoting Anatolian cultural values

Visit their pages at h2ha.org/