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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 10 June 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 10 June 2023]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ After emerging from the elections victorious, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan formed his cabinet and appointed key financial managers this week.

  Here is a summary:

  Mehmet Şimşek is now the minister of Treasury and Finance. He was the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey from November 24, 2015, until the office's abolition on July 9, 2018. Previously he served as the Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2015 in the cabinets of Prime Ministers Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ahmet Davutoğlu.

  He has a Master's degree from Exeter University in the United Kingdom and a bachelor of science in economics from Ankara University in the Turkish capital.

  Upon taking office, he said managing the economy in Turkey would be set on rational grounds. Analysts wonder if he could convince Mr. Erdoğan to make a U-turn from his unorthodox economic policies.

  Mr. Erdoğan appointed Ms. Hafize Gaye Erkan as the governor of Turkey's central bank. She describes herself in her profile on LinkedIn, a business and employment-focused social media platform, that she is a proven financial services leader with deep expertise in banking, investments, risk management, technology, and digital innovation.

  She is the first woman to head Turkey's central bank. Al Jazeera writes that the 41-year-old had a stellar career in the U.S. corporate world.

  She received a degree in industrial engineering from the prestigious Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She then received a Ph.D. in operations research and financial engineering from Princeton University in the United States in 2006.

  Erkan later completed business programs at Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

  Turkish and world press report that she is one of the defendants in a lawsuit started on April 24. Along with others, the lawsuit accuses her of violating banking laws and misleading bank customers during her tenure at First Republic Bank, which collapsed in the recent banking crisis.

★ Another woman made it into the 17-member Turkish cabinet. Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş will serve as the minister for family and social services, a post generally occupied by women. She is a dual Turkish-Belgian citizen who became the first headscarf-wearing lawmaker in 2009 in a Belgian parliamentary assembly.

  She was a member of the Humanist Democratic Center in Belgium, a Christian Democratic and centrist party.

★ On the opposition front, the main opposition party leader Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who lost the elections to Mr. Erdoğan, is under pressure to resign from leading the Republican People's Party.

  Journalist Fatih Altaylı claimed that Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu told a couple of confidants that he would not seek the nomination for either the party leadership or presidency ever again.

★ Turkish authorities are not releasing Can Atalay, a lawyer in jail with trumped-up charges, even though he was elected to the parliament now.

  The daily Duvar writes that under the Turkish Constitution's article 83, there is only one obstacle for a person elected as a parliamentarian to gain legislative immunity:

  Parliamentary immunity will not apply if the courts convict a lawmaker over crimes mentioned in Article 14. These are "violating the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, and endangering the existence of the democratic and secular order of the Republic based on human rights."

  The authorities are now framing Can Atalay in this context.

  On June 7, Turkey's newly appointed Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç addressed the ongoing imprisonment of lawmaker Can Atalay by saying that parliamentary immunity does not cover the charges levied against him.

  Atalay attracted the ire of President Erdoğan and other Justice and Development Party leaders when he defended the Gezi Park protesters in court. He also was a lawyer in many negligence cases against the government and large corporations.

  Protesters rallied on Wednesday in 36 cities across Turkey, calling on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government to release Can Atalay.

  Atalay is in prison for more than a year after being jailed for 18 years for his alleged role in the so-called Gezi Park protests of 2013.

  The Turkish government classified the protests, the first nationwide uprising against Erdoğan's rule, as an attempted coup.

★ On June 8, The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers demanded the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights judgments regarding Osman Kavala, a detained businessperson and human rights activist, as well as the former leaders of the Peoples' Democratic Party, Figen Yüksekdağ, and Selahattin Demirtaş.

  The Council is threatening sanctions against President Erdoğan's Justice and development party administration if it does not comply.

★ According to the online Turkish news outlet Bianet, on June 9, Ankara's Middle East Technical University students gathered on the campus for the annual Pride Parade.

  However, several incidents leading up to the march and during the gathering marred the event.

  The situation escalated when the police erected barricades on the road connecting the University's presidency building to the march's starting point.

  Students told Bianet that the campus was under police siege, with authorities using physical force to detain students in the library.

  According to METU LGBTIQAA+ Solidarity Crisis Desk, police detained at least five and expected more detentions.

  Nevertheless, students were able to raise a transgender flag outside the Mathematics department.

  After allowing them initially, the conservative Justice and Development Party administration has banned the pride days for several years.

  The Middle East Technical University, now governed by administrators appointed by the conservative Justice and development party administration, warned the students a few days earlier that the Pride March was banned.

  A day before the scheduled march, anti-LGBTI+ posters promoting the "protection of the family" were hung on campus.

★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, a website disclosed the personal information of every Turk, including those of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, online.

  The information exposed includes names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account details, and house and land deeds.

  Prof. Yaman Akdeniz, a prominent academic and cyber-rights expert, said the leak shows that the government has a serious data security problem.

★ Even though President Erdoğan appointed two people liked by the business and finance world to manage the economy and the central bank, the Turkish lira sank against the dollar and other major currencies this week. On June 1, one dollar stood at 20.8 Turkish liras. On Friday, it closed at 23.4.

  Analysts predict it will further sink, and one dollar will be around 30 Turkish liras soon. Economists say this will strain the battered Turkish economy more and fuel inflation.

★ The dire economic situation in Turkey does not seem to be affecting Turkish Airlines.

  The chairman of Turkish Airlines said Monday the company would make a final decision on plans for a record-breaking order for 600 aircraft in two months, Agence France-Presse reported.

  The airline is in talks with Boeing and its European rival Airbus.

★ Earlier this week, Turkey's state-run statistics agency claimed that the annual inflation dipped to 39.6% in May.

  ENAG, an independent group of economists, calculated the inflation rate as 109%.

  You can see the ENAG statistics >> here <<


★ The 14th International Istanbul Opera Festival started on June 10.

  Turkish State Opera and Ballet Directorate will stage six events during the festival. In addition, it will also host foreign guest soloists, choreographers, and directors.

  During the gala concert and opening on June 10, there were four opera performances.

  From arias to Neapolitans, folk songs to songs, there are performances at Atatürk Culture Center Türk Telekom Opera Hall with outstanding works from famous composers.

  Conductor Murat Kodallı will lead the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

★ Organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Culture Department, the "Jazz on the Islands" festival started Thursday evening on the island ferry that departed from Kabataş Pier.

  Sarp Maden Quartet was the first to meet music lovers at the festival.

  When the ferry arrived at Büyükada, one of the Prince Islands, Önder Focan Eggplant Project welcomed music lovers at the island's Atatürk Square. Afterward, Mercan Dede was on stage.

  "Jazz on the Islands" will continue until Sunday, June 11, at Büyükada Atatürk Square, Çelik Gülersoy Cultural Center, Heybeliada Market Place, Burgazada Old Pier Square, and Kınalıada Pier Square.

★ Organized by the AIMA, Ayvalık International Music Academy , since 2013, the 9th AIMA Music Festival is entering the summer with a busy program.

  The festival brings together the people of Ayvalık with classical music and jazz.

  The festival featuring 12 concerts will be between June 8 and September 24 this year with the support of the Sabancı Foundation.

  The first concert will be free of charge.


★ The opening ceremony of the 51st Istanbul Music Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and sponsored by Borusan Holding, took place at the Atatürk Cultural Center this week.

  During the ceremony, the organizers presented plaques of appreciation to the institutions and organizations that contributed to the festival.

  Composer and educator Hasan Uçarsu, who contributes to Turkish contemporary music with his productions, received this year's honor award. 25-year-old cellist Umut Sağlam received the 2022 Aydın Gün Encouragement Award.

  After the ceremony, the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Aziz Shokhakimov, started the festival with a concert, accompanying Jan Lisiecki, a sought-after young piano genius of recent years.

  The festival will have 25 concerts with 60 renowned musicians in 18 venues. The program includes 12 new compositions. Eight will have their world premiere, and four will have their Turkish premiere.

  The program features brand-new projects developed for 2023 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic. Some of them are commissioned works inspired by historical female figures in Anatolia, traditional Turkish Classical music, original tango pieces from the early period of the Republic, and interdisciplinary performances presenting top soloists of the contemporary classical world and internationally-acclaimed orchestras.

  The 51st Istanbul Music Festival will end on June 17.

  Here is what took place this week:

  June 5, Festival Meeting: Borusan Quartet and award-winning young trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary / Kadıköy Municipality Süreyya Opera house

  Firebird à la Jazz / Four Seasons Bosphorus Hotel, Atik Pasha Terrace.

  June 6, A Memorial Evening with the Stars: Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation Music Stars Chamber Orchestra / Atatürk Culture Center Theater Hall.

  June 7, France's leading wind quintet Les Vents Français & Éric Le Sage, one of the world's most prominent pianists, "French Winds" / The French Palace.

  June 8, Fazıl Say & Serenad Bağcan "World Mother" / Atatürk Cultural Center Türk Telekom Opera Hall.

  June 9, Royal Netherlands Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra & Matthias Goerne / Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall.

  June 10, Beatles for Babies / Zorlu Performing Arts Center Sky Lounge.

  A Weekend with Music II-III / İKSV Alt Kat.


A section of the Rahmi M. Koç Museum--Istanbul branch
★ Italian officials awarded a state medal to the first and only Turkish industrial museum for its efforts to strengthen cultural relations between Italy and Turkey.

  At a ceremony, the Italian Embassy gave Mine Sofuoğlu, the General Director of Rahmi M. Koç Museum, the Italian Star Order and the title of knight.

  Ms. Sofuoğlu said:

  "I am very proud on behalf of Rahmi M. Koç Museums and myself to be deemed worthy of such a prestigious award and title. I owe gratitude to our founder Mr. Rahmi M. Koç, and my colleagues."

  Rahmi M. Koç Museum is in Istanbul, Turkey. It is a private industrial museum established by Rahmi M. Koç, a prominent Turkish businessman and philanthropist. The museum showcases exhibits related to the history and evolution of transportation, industry, and technology in Turkey.

  The museum houses vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, airplanes, trains, and maritime artifacts. Visitors can explore the galleries that display vintage cars, classic motorcycles, model ships, steam engines, and even a submarine.

  In addition to the transportation-themed exhibits, the museum also features sections dedicated to communication technologies, scientific instruments, and industrial machinery. There are interactive displays, educational programs, and temporary exhibitions that cater to visitors of all ages.

  It is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.

★ There was an awards ceremony for the 69th Sait Faik Abasıyanık Story Award Ceremony in Istanbul.

  The Darüşşafaka Society and İş Cultural Publications organize the awards to keep the memory of Sait Faik Abasıyanık, one of the quick masters master of Turkish literature.

  Ayşegül Devecioğlu won the award for her book "Anatomy Lesson."

  Sait Faik Abasıyanık (1906-1954) was a renowned Turkish writer known for his poignant and lyrical short stories. He is considered one of the leading figures in Turkish literature, and critics call him "the master of the Turkish short story."

  He created a new style in Turkish literature, bringing new life to Turkish short story writing with his harsh but humanistic portrayals of laborers, fishermen, children, the unemployed, and the poor. His stories focused on the urban lifestyle, and he portrayed denizens of the darker places in Istanbul.

  Some of his stories are available in English.

★ Some gastronomy news:

★ The 12th Restaurant Week continues until June 25.

  Turkey's first gastronomy festival and eagerly awaited every year, Restaurant Week is organized for the 12th time by Dude Table with the sponsorship of Hellmann's.

  This year, the menus offered at Restaurant Week, which embraced the theme of "sharing" with the slogan "There is a lot to share," is aimed at giving taste lovers the experience that both taste and sharing are possible.

  The event will continue in Izmir, Ankara, especially in Istanbul, until June 25.


Four Seasons Sultanahmet courtyard
★ Malatya cuisine days at Four Seasons Sultanahmet started.

  The unique local flavors of Malatya, a South Eastern province in Turkey, will take the guests of Four Seasons Sultanahmet on a gastronomy journey between June 14-18 with special lunch and dinner menus prepared with the contributions of Historical Hacı Baba Steakhouse Chef Mehmet Zeki Saygı and his team.


Artist's depiction of the Kültepe Museum
★ The central Turkish city Kayseri's Metropolitan Municipality is building a museum by carving hills in the Bağpınar Neighborhood on the Kayseri-Sivas highway.

  The municipality may have taken its cue from the ancients who carved the soft volcanic rocks to create dwellings, storage places, and even churches in the region for thousands of years.

  Tens of thousands of clay tablets and historical artifacts unearthed in the Kültepe archaeological excavations will find a home in this museum covering nearly 40000 sq. ft. of space.

  So far, 6000-year-old Kültepe Kaniş/Karum Mound has revealed nearly 24 thousand clay tablets.

  Emphasizing that the municipality attaches importance to museology activities in the city center and the countryside, Gürcan Senem, Head of the municipality's Department of City History and Promotion, stated that the Kültepe Museum is approximately 1.4 miles from the excavations site and 15 miles from the city center.

  The excavation site was a warehouse and arsenal in ancient times, Senem said.

  Large-scale excavations at this ancient Assyrian trading colony started in 1948. Ancient traders ferried in 2 to 3 months from their hometown of Assur in central Iraq to Kultepe goods in donkey caravans.

  The tablets left behind documented everything from business records and correspondence to personal correspondence with loved ones back in Iraq.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 23.40

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 97/59 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 77/70 Thunderstorms
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 72/46 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 77/64 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 84/68 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 73/66 Thunderstorms


Edited by Ertuğrul Korkmaz

★ Britain's Manchester City won the championship after beating Italy's Inter team 1-0 in the union of European football associations, UEFA, Champions League Final played at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

After the unforgettable final in which Liverpool won the championship in 2005, another English team won the cup in the second final at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium.

While the first half of the match, directed by Polish referee Szymon Marciniak, was goalless, excitement and tempo increased in the second half of the match. Under the management of Pep Guardiola, Manchester City won the victory with Rodri's goal in the 68th minute, reaching the happy ending in the second final and raising the UEFA Champions League Cup for the first time in its history.
* Turkish Premier league just ended and Galatasaray became the champion. Here are the final rankings:
 1 - G. Saray        88
 2 - Fenerbahçe      80
 3 - Beşiktaş        78
 4 - Adana           69
 5 - Başakşehir      62
 6 - Trabzon         57
 7 - K.gümrük        51
 8 - Konya           51
 9 - Kayseri         47
10 - Kasımpaşa       43
11 - Ankaragücü      42
12 - Istanbul        41
13 - Antalya         41
14 - Sivas           41
15 - Alanya          41
16 - Giresun         40
17 - Ümrani?ye       30
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

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

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*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
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