Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Have you read our Istanbul correspondent's recent book? Click here for more. Lisa also has a new audio tour guide for Kadıköy Click here for more.


x0x Turkish News for the week ending 08 July 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 08 July 2023]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.

on KXSF:  kxsf.fm/ or FM 102.5 in San Francisco

You can also listen to us online:

DONATE to San Francisco Community Radio! Click >> HERE <<

Also tune to KKUP FM 91.5, Cupertino to hear the
ORIENT EXPRESS every Tuesday at 10 P.M.

Audio archives of our radio broadcasts are here: Arhives.org

Our website is at: www.TurkRadio.us

Ahmet Toprak is the editor-in-chief. Your broadcast host is Fuad Tokad.

[To send a message to us please put the following code at the beginning of your subject "txuxrxk" AND remove the TurkC-L tag. Then use our turkradio at yahoo.com address. This is to prevent spam. Other e-mails may not be read.]

[Uzun İnternet adreslerini radyoda okumayın, şu duyuruyu yapın:
"Look at the news section of our website for more details. www.Turkradio.us".]


★ According to Associated Press, on Tuesday, Hakan Fidan, Turkey's new foreign affairs minister, talked about Koran-burning protests in Sweden and said that Turkey would not approve Swedish membership in the NATO alliance until it addresses these and other Turkish security concerns.

  Among other security concerns are extraditing people Turkey considers terrorists. Most are either Kurdish activists or cleric Gülen's followers.

  From time to time, Kurdish activists hold demonstrations in Sweden against Turkey. Turkey considers the Kurdish activists members of the outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, U. S., And the European Union.

  Gülen's followers attempted to take over Turkey with a coup in 2016.

  Turkey also says the activists in Sweden raise money for the Kurdistan Workers Party.

  Sweden and Finland, two Nordic countries, were neutral for decades but abandoned neutrality when Russia invaded Ukraine. Turkey ratified Finland's membership.

  The Associated Press reports that in an interview with a United Arab Emirates newspaper, Pope expressed his disapproval of burning the Koran or any other holy book. Ake Bonnier, a Swedish top Bishop, also called the Koran burning incident an attack on all believers.

  >> here <<

  In related news, VOA reports that President Biden met Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson at the White House on July 5.

  President Biden said Swedish membership would make NATO stronger. He added that Sweden has the same values as other members.

  Kotryna Jukneviciute, a defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, said that the real issue for Turkey is not Swedish membership in NATO but the $20 billion purchase of 40 F-16 fighter jets made by the U. S. company Lockheed Martin and nearly 80 modernization kits for its air force's existing warplanes. However, both parties in the U. S. Congress oppose the sale.

  She added that Erdoğan also wants to be noticed.

  The NATO countries will have a summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on July 11, and observers expect more discussions and acting on Swedish membership.

  >> here <<

  Read also the Deutsche Welle article on a recent meeting between Swedish and Turkish officials at the NATO headquarters >> here <<

★ According to the Associated Press, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine in Istanbul on July 8.

  Among the topics they discussed is the extension of the grain deal that Turkey brokered between Russia and Ukraine last year. The arrangement allowed the export of grain from Ukraine to other countries. Russia is now saying that it will not extend the deal.

  The Turkish Turkish president said he would meet with Russian President Putin to extend the deal, which will expire on July 17.

  One other topic was the membership of Ukraine in NATO. Turkish president thinks that Ukraine should join NATO.

★ After Turkey started getting isolated and dived into a deep economic crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is trying to establish better relations with his previous adversaries.

  In 2013, Egypt and Turkey broke off relations. At the time, Mr. Erdoğan's administration declared that it was backing the ousted Islamist president of Egypt. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the Egyptian army general who took over and was later elected president, did not like that.

  Turkey and Egypt also supported opposing groups in the Libyan civil war.

  However, Deutsche Welle reports that this week the two countries appointed ambassadors.

  Read the Deutsche Welle article >> here <<

★ According to Deutsche Welle, a report writes that nearly 1 million people sought asylum in the European Union in 2022.

  According to the report, people from Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Venezuela, and Columbia were among the groups at the top.

  More on this from Deutsche Welle >> here <<

  In related news, the Turkish Medical Association announced this week that applications for the "certificate of good conduct" doctors receive to move abroad broke a record in 2023, reports the daily Duvar.

  Some 1360 doctors applied in the first six months of 2020, while the number was 1170 in the same half of 2022.

  According to the Association's statistics, the number of doctors leaving Turkey has increased 70 times in the last 11 years. Overtime, long shift hours, low wages, lack of merit, cases of violence in healthcare, mobbing, and harsh working conditions have led to the departure of many physicians in recent years. In 2022, 2,685 left Turkey for posts abroad.

  In March, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the physicians' exodus. "If they can leave, let them leave," he said. In the face of widespread criticism against these remarks, Erdoğan later changed his tune, saying that Turkey "needs" its doctors.

★ According to VOA's Ezel Şahinkaya and Yıldız Yazıcıoğlu, Reuters will be appealing a move by Turkey to block access to more than 90 web links and social media posts that used reporting by the news agency.

  Here are some excerpts from the VOA article:

  "The ban relates to an article that said Swedish and American anti-corruption authorities were reviewing a complaint naming Bilal Erdoğan, son of President Erdoğan.

  "Several Turkish authorities condemned the Reuters article and described it as disinformation.

  "An Istanbul Court on June 26 issued an order that blocks access to web addresses that used the Reuters news article, its Turkish translations, or information from the news agency. VOA's Turkish Service is among those affected.

  "Gürkan Ozturan, a coordinator for the Media Freedom Rapid Response team at the European Center for Press and Media Freedom, thinks that blocking access to articles in Turkey has become a problem.

  "'In recent months, there has been an apparent increase in blocking access to news articles and content removal orders targeting local media organizations. This threatens people's right to access information and media freedom deeply,' Ozturan told VOA.

  "In June 2022, for example, access to VOA Turkish was blocked after it declined to get a broadcasting license from Turkey's media regulator, the Radio and Television Supreme Council."

  The full VOA article is >> here <<

★ According to the daily Duvar, Turkey's chief public prosecutor at the Court of Cassation says jailed parliamentarian Mr. Can Atalay can't benefit from parliamentary immunity.

  Mr. Atalay was elected to the Turkish parliament in the May 14 elections from the Workers Party of Turkey while still in jail. He was allowed to run as a candidate. Turkish authorities are supposed to release him since he acquired parliamentary immunity.

  However, Mr. Erdoğan's administration is pressuring the supposedly-independent legal system to keep him in jail.

  The Court of Cassation chief prosecutor wrote in his opinion that a court convicted Mr. Atalay for attempting to overturn the government by force.

  Legal experts say that the courts convicted him with trumped-up charges. Mr. Erdoğan's administration did not like him defending the Gezi Park demonstrators in courts as a lawyer.

  Wikipedia describes the protests as follows:

  "A wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey began on May 28, 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park. Outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan sparked the protests.

  Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey, protesting against a wide range of concerns at the core of which were freedom of the press, expression, and assembly, as well as the Justice and Development Party government's alleged erosion of Turkey's secularism."

★ According to the online news outlet Diken, a civil society platform consisting of several Islamist NGOs demanded the cancellation of festivals and concerts throughout Turkey, arguing that they direct the youth to rebellion.

  The organizations called for all activities to be gender-segregated.

  Among the organizations that signed the memorandum are the Islamic business group MÜSİAD and Humanitarian Relief Foundation, a conservative charity with close ties to the Erdoğan administration.

  This year, after the ruling Justice and Development Party officials and trolls targeted the festivals and concerts, some provincial governor offices and municipalities canceled several.

  Last year, Balıkesir governor's office canceled the Zeytinli Rock Festival, Turkey's biggest, after an and Islamist NGO demanded its cancellation. The same NGO is also a signatory to the memorandum.

★ On July 2, Turks commemorated the Sivas massacre on its 30th anniversary.

  Islamist radicals killed 33 artists and intellectuals gathered at a hotel in Turkey's East Central province of Sivas by setting fire to the hotel.

  One of their targets was the renowned Turkish author Aziz Nesin, who escaped unharmed. He later blamed the government for not intervening and holding back the 15,000 radicals gathered in front of the hotel.

  Most of the people killed were from Turkey's Alevi community. The Islamist radicals were from the Sunni community.

  In Sivas city, relatives of those killed in the massacre and representatives from the opposition Green Left and Republican People parties, rights groups, and Alevi and Bektashi organizations attended the ceremony.

  At the end of the lengthy trial process, a court sentenced the 33 defendants to death and 14 to prison terms ranging up to 15 years.

  In 2002, Turkey abolished the death penalty, and the court re-sentenced 33 people to life imprisonment. Eight key figures in the Sivas massacre escaped and disappeared in 1997.

  In a demonstration in an Istanbul district, police attacked the demonstrators when they tried to march through a street from the square they gathered. Police detained several people, including a journalist.

★ According to the daily Duvar, Dr. Fahrettin Koca, Turkey's Minister of Health, visited Hatay province and criticized the loss of public attention and the government's slow response to housing problems in Turkey's Southeastern region affected by the earthquakes on February 6, according to reporting by Fatih Altaylı.

  He said that the government did not reach the desired target of housing units yet. He noted that people are still in tents or containers in hot weather. Neither the tents nor the containers have air conditioning.

  According to the minister, inadequate clean water is also a problem.

  According to official reports, 50,000 people lost their lives in the earthquakes. Experts think the death toll is more like 200,000, and one earthquake engineer thinks it is more like 500,000.

  Read the daily Duvar article for details >> here <<

★ Economy:

★ According to the daily Duvar, the Turkish government increased the VAT, a levy similar to the sales tax in the U. S., by 2%. Economists forecast the hike will create an extra 30 billion liras, approximately $1.1 billion, for the government this year.

  These tax hikes came right after the government doubled the motor vehicles tax and increased the general corporate tax from 20% to 25%. Economists forecast that the increases generate $5.4 billion in 2023.

  Analysts say the tax increases will make up 2% of the government revenue.

★ President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the Gulf countries two weeks ago. According to an official speaking with Reuters, Turkey now expects $10 billion in investments from these countries, reports the daily Duvar.

  Mr. Erdoğan is next going to United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to drum up more investments in Turkey. The daily Duvar article is >> here <<

  Also in the news: Turkish officials would like to sell Izmir Port, one of the largest in Turkey, to Arab investors.

  Detailed reporting by Bloomberg is >> here <<

★ According to the Turkish daily Birgün, two municipalities run by the ruling Justice and Development party put mosques and schools on the market to pay their tax debts.

  Both municipalities are in the greater Istanbul Metropolitan area.

  Read the daily Duvar article >> here <<

★ Last month, research by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions indicated hunger threshold for a family of four spiked in June.

  The poverty threshold was about 34,000 Turkish liras in June, three times the minimum wage of 11.4 thousand Turkish liras.

  Turkish officials and independent economists announced the June inflation rate separately. The figures will not help and may drive more people to hunger.

  While the independent economists calculated the annual inflation rate as 108%, the government figure is 38%.

  According to the daily Duvar, the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions staged a protest in front of the government-run Turkish Statistics Institute to criticize its figure of 38% since the government would adjust the workers' wages and civil servants' salaries based on this number.


Baykar drones

★ A bit of older news: According to Reuters, Kuwait will buy $267 million worth of TB2 drones from Turkey's privately the owned Baykar Corporation.

  The drones got a boost in publicity after their successful use in conflicts in Syria, Libya, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine.

  See the Baykar announcement >> here <<



★ Salon İKSV, the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation, continues with its Gezgin Salon, or Traveling Hall, series at the vibrant open-air Parkorman on July 29 and 30. Presented by +1, the music festival, yet again, lined up some serious talent. This year it includes: on its first day, and on its second day.

★ Özkan Uğur, a member of the prominent Turkish band Mazhar, Fuat, Özkan, or MFÖ, passed away at the age of 69 while receiving treatment due to lymphoma, reported the daily Duvar on July 8.

  MFÖ, a pop and rock band, became popular in Turkey in the 1980s.

  Uğur also acted in several Turkish movies and serialized TV dramas.

★ DJ Snake will be at Istanbul's Life Park on July 29 with his groundbreaking sound, innovative productions, and infectious energy.

  DJ Snake is French. His real name is William Sami Étienne Grigahcine. He is influential in music and renowned for his ability to blend different genres and cultural influences seamlessly.

  His music is a dynamic fusion of electronic, hip-hop, trap, and dance all elements.

★ Presented by Glitch Fields, with support from Soul Revue, Alive, and Epoch, prepare for a captivating musical journey as the dynamic duo Polo & Pan grace the stage at Klein Phönix Park for a DJ set on July 16.

  Klein Phönix Park is in Istanbul's Maslak neighborhood.

  With their infectious blend of electro-pop, vibrant melodies, and global influences, Polo & Pan has become a sensation in the music industry, captivating audiences with their unique sound and unforgettable performances.

  Local favorites Orkun Bozdemir and Mertkan AKD join the occasion to warm up the affair.

  Formed in 2012, Polo & Pan is a French electronic music duo consisting of Paul Armand "Polocorp" Delille and Alexandre "Peter Pan" Grynszpan.

  Polo & Pan's tracks are a sonic kaleidoscope of influences. From tropical rhythms to Middle Eastern melodies, the duo effortlessly weaves diverse sonic elements, creating a rich tapestry of sounds as uplifting as it is innovative. Their music is a celebration of cultural diversity and a testament to the power of music as a universal language.


  Medusa head mosaic found in the Kibyra excavations

  Click on the photograph to see a larger view of the pool and Anatolia News Agency article.

★ After re-connecting the 1800-year-old Antonine fountain in the ancient city of Sagalassos in 2010 to its water source, archaeologists connected yet one-more 2000-year-old fountain in the ancient Kibyra after nine months of restoration work.

  Excavations unearthed the fountain in 2016.

  The fountain, billed as a monument, has two pools which consist of 168 original and 190 architectural blocks located on the third terrace of the city.

  The ancients built the fountain in 23 CE after a strong earthquake. In the center of the fountain, there is a tower. Six columns topped with a conical roof decorated with reliefs surround it.

  On the sides of the central structure, there are two pools. Originally six lion and panther statues surrounded the center where the water comes out. Archaeologists recovered them. The originals are at the Burdur Archaeology Museum. A sculptor made replicas for use in the renovated fountain.

  The second pool, added at the end of the second century CE, was considerably more magnificent than the first. It had 12 statues as tall as a man.

  The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Burdur Governor's Office contributed to the restoration's cost.

  The ancient city of Kibyra, known as the city of gladiators and on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, stands out with its odeon, stadium, and huge theater. Now with the fountain functioning, the city looks considerably more attractive.

  Dr. Şükrü Özüdoğru, a member of the local university's archaeology Department and head of the excavations, says that the digging started in 2006. They first unearthed structures and buildings monumental in nature.

  It took three years to bring the circular fountain to the open and re-erect it. Then the restorers fetched water from the source used two thousand years ago.

  Now from the mouths of the lion heads decorating the fountain, water is flowing again.

  See a video of the restored fountain below:

★ During excavations conducted by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality at Saraçhane Archaeology Park, archaeologists found three grave steles.

  The steles have markings indicating the dead's status, profession, and interests.

  Last week we reported to you about the excavations at the site, which has the remains of the church of St. Polyeuctus, built to resemble the Solomon Temple in Jerusalem.

  The area was the city center until the eastern Romans built the Hagia Sophia church in the 500s.

High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 77/63 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 100/81 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 68/54 Thunderstorms
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 81/72 Thunderstorms
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 90/73 Partly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 81/72 Thunderstorms

Seawater Temperatures
Black Sea measured at Trabzon         : 73
Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdağ      : 74
Aegean Sea measured at İzmir          : 82
Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya : 81

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 26.06


[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:
There are currently three schools:
Los Altos, San Ramon and Berkeley
For more information on these schools, drop an email to trh@turkradio.us.


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

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

Join TUFOD as a family! For more information on the venue and hours drop us an email, we'll put you in touch with them: trh@turkradio.us

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/