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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 01 July 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 01 July 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, Turkish authorities arrested journalist Merdan Yanardağ as part of an investigation launched into his remarks criticizing the contact ban imposed upon jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party leader Abdullah Öcalan, in isolation on İmralı Island in the Marmara Sea.

  On June 20, during a live broadcast on Tele1, Yanardağ said:

  "Abdullah Öcalan is over 70 years old and has been in jail a long time, 25 years without interruption. He is the longest-serving political prisoner in Turkey.

  "If normal laws apply, he should actually be released and put on house arrest, etc."

  Mr. Yanardağ added that the isolation imposed upon Abdullah Öcalan has no place in law, and the administration has to lift it.

  After the accusations, Yanardağ said on Tele1 that he did not praise any terrorist organization and its leader.

  He said:

  "I made an assessment stating that the [ruling] Justice and Development Party wants to start a new peace process and is preparing an amnesty for Öcalan.

  "Because Öcalan is in isolation, we do not know about the ongoing bargaining. Democratic countries do not implement such strict isolation."

  He added he is a patriotic and socialist journalist, and he could not praise any terrorist act.

  Mr. Yanardağ is a vocal critic of President Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party's regime.

  Analysts think that the government is looking for an excuse to silence him.

  The European Federation of Journalists called for the immediate release of journalist Merdan Yanardağ.

  A main-opposition Republican People's Party delegation will visit Mr. Yanardağ in jail. The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party co-chair Ms. Pervin Buldan also expressed their support for Mr. Yanardağ.

★ The Wall Street Journal reports that Russian cargo ships under U. S. sanctions for transporting weapons and supplies have been making regular stops at Turkish ports since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, aiding Moscow's military campaign.

  According to the report, the Russian vessels have made over 100 stops at ports along Turkey's coast since May 2022, continuing until recent weeks.

  Turkish shipyards repaired or serviced some of the ships, which are prohibited by the U. S. and Western sanctions, raising the possibility of the U. S. imposing sanctions on Turkish businesses circumventing the sanctions.

★ Narcotics experts say Turkey emerged as a vital hub for drug trafficking connecting continents.

  According to a UN report, cocaine seized in Turkey in 2022 increased by 42 percent compared to the previous year, supporting claims by Turkey's Anti-Narcotics Directorate of a new route from South America to Turkey for the trafficking of drugs to the Middle East and Europe reports the Turkish daily BirGün.

  A report on cocaine trafficking by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime shows that the amount of cocaine seized in Turkey increased sevenfold between 2014 and 2021.

  The seriousness of the situation becomes even more apparent when one considers the drugs seized before they arrive in Turkey, daily Birgün ads.

  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report >> here <<

★ UN aid chief Martin Griffiths pushed the Security Council on Thursday to extend for 12 months its approval of a long-running humanitarian aid operation that delivers help to millions of people in northwest Syria from Turkey, Reuters reported.

  Russia opposes the deal.

★ The United Kingdom's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office has recently updated its travel advice for Turkey, issuing warnings about the threat of terrorism ahead of the summer holiday season, British daily The Mirror reported on Friday.

  Turks expect approximately 1.6 million British holidaymakers to visit the popular tourist destinations in Turkey.

  Turkey has seen a significant increase in foreign tourism, with a 16.2 percent year-on-year rise in May alone.

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday denounced Sweden for allowing a protest during which a man burned pages from the Quran, further clouding the Nordic nation's chances of quickly joining NATO, Agence France-Presse reported.

  An Iraqi man organized the protest outside Stockholm's main mosque after Swedish police granted a permit, coinciding with the start of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.

  "We will eventually teach the arrogant Westerners that insulting Muslims is not freedom of thought," Erdoğan said in televised remarks.

★ According to the Turkish news outlet Bianet, an İstanbul court ordered an access ban on 93 news articles, including a special report by Reuters, reporting on an international probe involving the son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

★ International Trade Union Confederation's 2023 Global Rights Index placed Turkey among the ten worst countries in the world for workers, the daily Duvar reports.

  The report indicated an ongoing assault on the freedoms and rights of workers, marked by the forceful suppression of protests by the police and the arbitrary arrest of trade union leaders throughout 2023.

  Furthermore, employers persisted in their systematic efforts to undermine unions by deliberately terminating employees who attempted to organize.

  The report listed ASD Laminat, Barutçu Tekstil, ETF Tekstil, and Philip Morris as the companies violating workers' rights in Turkey.

★ Despite the statement made by Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek last week, Turkey remained on the "grey list" of the International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, which started in October 2021.

  See the International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering pages for Turkey >> here <<

★ A new law in Turkey makes divorced women wait 300 days before they can remarry.

  Ms. Habibe Yılmaz Kayar, the founding lawyer of the Center for Legal Support for Women, applied to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the waiting period was discrimination.

  The court accepted Ms. Kayar's application. After reviewing it, the judges agreed with her.

★ The Consulate Gen. of Russia in Istanbul had a press release on the Wagner rebellion.

  The statement said:

  "We are grateful to our foreign partners who support and show their solidarity with the measures of the Russian authorities to prevent the uprising and protect the constitutional order," adding that they "give special importance" to the phone conversation between President Erdoğan of the Justice and Development Party and Putin.



A work by Alper Aydın

★ One can follow the works in the first solo exhibition by Alper Aydın along with the changes in nature, reports the daily Ekonomin writer Faruk Şüyün.

  The outdoors exhibition is in the Eastern Black Sea city of Ordu in Turkey, spread over 250 acres.

  Aydın named his exhibition "fata morgana," a complex form of superior mirage visible in a narrow band just above the horizon.

  One can see the geological formation of the earth, the creation myth of Adam and Eve, the dialogue of humans with nature and life, works that mark the post-human world, the sea and open fields in Yason and Sülü Cape, where the artist was born and raised, and the historical Yason Church and Taşbaşı Art Area.

  Natural events from sunrise to sunset, storms to rain also affect the works on the peninsula and the sea.

Istanbul Modern's new building

★ On June 20, Istanbul Modern had a grand opening of its new building on the Bosphorus shores in Karaköy, Istanbul.

  The guest of honor was Renzo Piano, the architect of the new museum building.

  Istanbul Modern Chairman of the Board Oya Eczacıbaşı said, "Renzo Piano is one of the most important names of museum architecture in Istanbul today. He shared our dreams of establishing a museum building that will attract the attention of international art circles, and reflect the value of this unique city."

  Mr. Piano is also the architect of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Shard skyscraper in London, and the Pompidou Center in Paris.

  The opening coincided with the launching of five new exhibitions.

  Among the exhibitors is the Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, who created a work for the building titled "your unexpected journey." It has three parts across different floors.

  Spanning 115,000 sq. ft., the museum offers a space for exhibitions, film screenings, and a permanent collection of more than 280 works by Turkey's most important modern and contemporary artists.

  In addition to the art displayed, the museum will provide cultural, artistic, and educational activities.

  Providing details about the design process of the new museum building, Renzo Piano said:

  "This building is like a sea creature that has just splashed from the waters of the Bosphorus.

  "We wanted to create a building that rises from the ground by defying gravity, thus establishing a relationship between the sea view on one side and the park on the other and the Galata district, which dates back to the Middle Ages, with its transparency.

  "We created multiple planes by designing a space where nothing blocked the view as if suspended in the air. Thus, we gave importance to adding another strong quality to the project.

  "On the ground floor, there are columns that give a sense of depth, like tree trunks in a forest. We go up to the first and second floors and finally to the terrace, where, when we look south, we reach the pool of water that integrates with the waters of the Bosphorus and the infinity defined by the light."

ENKA Open Air Theater

★ The summer activities at ENKA Open Air Theater will begin on July 10

  The programs bring distinguished artists and qualified interpretations and will continue until September 16.

  Students will purchase tickets for 40 TL, approximately half a dollar, a special for the 40th anniversary of ENKA Art, contributing access to art.

  The campaign "Buy one ticket, get one ticket free" will be valid for all art lovers at movie screenings.

★ Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum in Istanbul won the Gold Award in the Museum Category in the "Social Media and Digital" category at the Brandverse Awards.

  Marketing Türkiye-Boomsonar organizes the Brandverse Awards, and the Turkish branch of Deloitte contributes to the jury. It considers old and new-generation marketing, communication, and advertising works while giving the awards.


A Han Spaces facility

★ The new exhibition by HAN Spaces Levent is titled "Work Hours."

  HAN Spaces is a company that offers a new generation of flexible office spaces. The exhibition will take place in one of its buildings in the Levent neighborhood of Istanbul. It is the seventh such exhibition that the company has organized.

  HAN Spaces thinks art must be accessible to everyone, and it is not a luxury but a necessity.

  Bringing art to its office spaces aims to increase the productivity of office workers.

  For the exhibition, HAN Spaces has cooperated with ArtPick Artwork Solutions, a full-service art advisory firm based in Istanbul, specializing in art consulting for architectural projects.

  >> here <<

★ Istanbul has a new event: Greenify Festival! It will feature Hooverphonic, among others. The band will play alternative pop, trip-hop, and electronic elements.

  Hooverphonic is a Belgian band that started in October 1995.

  Accompanying mesmerizing melodies by Hooverphonic will be Turkish synth-pop genius Jakuzi, Hugo Kant, and Kana Kana.

  Organized by Epifoni and Kod Muzik, Greenify will take place at the Maximum UNIQ event venue in Istanbul on July 14.

★ Australian trio RÜFÜS DU SOL will take the stage at Life Park in Istanbul on July 22.

  Hosted by Generic Music, the event will also feature Luke Alessi and Orkun Bozdemir.

  RÜFÜS DU SOL consists of members Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George, and James Hunt. Since their formation in 2010, they have become one of the most exciting acts in the global electronic music scene, renowned for their distinctive sound, flawless production, and transcendent live performances.


★ The International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium, held every three years, was at the Anatolian Civilizations Research Center in Beyoğlu, hosted by Koç University, between 22-24 June this year.

  Leading international Byzantine researchers came together in Istanbul for the symposium.

  In the symposium, the scholars discussed the topic of "One Hundred Years of Byzantine Studies in Turkey" under three different themes:

  Byzantine Studies in Turkey from a Global Perspective,

  Cultural Heritage and Public Perception, and

  Archaeological Studies on Byzantine Studies.
www.TurkRadio.us www.TurkRadio.us
An old abondened church in Vize and its incarnation as a mosque

★ Trakya University Archeology Department Lecturer Dr. Ahmet Yaraş, in his talk at the Kırklareli City Council and Nature and Culture Association Historical Artifacts and Biodiversity Smuggling conference, said that Kırklareli is the province where the treasure hunters carry the most illegal excavations in Turkey.

  Noting that extensive plundering was occurring in the Kırklareli province, Dr. Yaraş said that treasure hunters caused great destruction in the Vize district.

  He stated that the destruction of archaeological artifacts in Thrace, the European part of Turkey, was mainly due to its closeness to Istanbul.

  "The organization of the treasure hunters and smugglers is so big and comprehensive that I have witnessed them going very deep, especially in Vize and around, and do this job very comprehensively and professionally."

Janissary Bath

★ Dr. Engin Beksaç, Head of the Art History Department at theTrakya University, stated that authorities should take the historical Janissary Bath in Edirne, a work of art and culture, under immediate protection.

  Drawing attention to the treasure hunters who dream of finding treasure in the bath, Beksaç said it was impossible to find anything there.

  Dr. Beksaç said that the Janissary Bath was in a dilapidated condition and need of restoration and was one of the most important architectural structures in the province.

  According to some historians built during the reign of Murad I, the conqueror of Edirne and who reigned between 1362 to 1389, Dr. Beksaç emphasized that the status of this cultural monument is not encouraging.

  Beksaç underlined that, as in many cultural artifacts where a protected area does not exist, the destruction caused by treasure seekers was also evident in the Janissary Bath.

www.TurkRadio.us www.TurkRadio.us

  Left, Balbal at Ordu Museum and right, Balbals in Kyrgyzstan

★ A Balbal figurine at the Ordu Museum for over ten years had no information on its origins.

  Finally, researchers found that work crews dug it out during roadworks in the nearby Altınordu District in 2010.

  Scholars think that it may have belonged to the ancient Scythians.

  Scythians ruled the Ukrainian and southern Eurasian planes north of the Black Sea starting from the ninth century BCE.

  The figurine depicts a man holding a glass, and scholars say that it proves that Scythians made it to the southern shores of the Black Sea, now part of Turkey.

  Balbals are gravestones used by the ancients.

  Balbals, most probably from the Turkish word "balbal" meaning "ancestor" or "grandfather," are anthropomorphic stone stelae, images cut from stone, installed atop, within, or around kurgans, in kurgan cemeteries, or a double line extending from a kurgan.

  A kurgan is a type of tumulus constructed over a grave, often characterized by containing a single human body along with grave vessels, weapons, and horses.


★ Turkish archaeologists have unearthed a 1700-year-old marble statue of the Greek god Pan during excavations at Saraçhane Archaeological Park in Istanbul, Turkey.

  The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality teams are carrying out the excavations. The site also has the remains of the Church of St. Polyeuctus.

  The church, across from the Istanbul metropolitan municipality building, resembles the Solomon Temple in Jerusalem.

  Before the construction of the Hagia Sophia church by Emperor Justinian in 537, the Church of Saint Polyeuctus was the largest temple in Constantinople.


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


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