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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 16 September 2023
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 16 September 2023]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ On the first anniversary of the murder of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman who died at the hands of the Iranian morality police, Turkish women got together for a rally protest rally.
The Turkish police blockaded the protesting women for a while and would not let Iranian women into the protest at the district's Iskele (Peer) Square. The police also did not let the International press enter the square.
Istanbul women originally wanted to protest at the Beyazit Square on the European side of the city, but the Istanbul governor's office did not allow that.
★ On September 13, a Turkish court rejected the closure request for "We Will Stop Femicide Platform," a Turkish feminist organization.
The lawsuit against the organization claimed that it was conducting activities contrary to the law and morality based on allegations such as ignoring the concept of family, trying to break down the family structure, and engaging in immoral activities under the guise of defending women's rights.
While the court proceedings were on, "We will stop femicide," women chanted.
During the trial, the relatives and families of women who fell victim to femicide spoke first. They said instead of closing the association, it should get support.
After the judgment, Fidan Ataselim, the general secretary of the platform, made a statement in front of the courthouse, stating that police detained two people in front of the courthouse for carrying the LGBT flag.
★ Local elections for municipalities throughout Turkey will take place next year. Politicians started campaigning and also calling for alliances.
Five years ago, Metropolitan Ekrem İmamoğlu, Istanbul's current mayor, won the elections when he was supported almost unanimously by all the opposition parties. However, the Good Party does not want to form an alliance and field its candidate next year. On September 14, Mr. İmamoğlu called on Good Party to join an alliance and support him for a second term, the Turkish daily Duvar reported.
In the 2019 local elections, the Good Party and the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party did not field mayoral candidates for Istanbul and Ankara metropolitan municipalities, paving the way for the Republican People's Party candidates, Ekrem İmamoğlu and Mansur Yavaş, to assume the mayorships against the ruling Justice and Development Party.
The Turkish news outlet Bianet said that cracks in Turkey's opposition could secure local election revenge for Erdoğan.
After 25 years of Justice and Development Party and preceding Islamist parties rule, İmamoğlu and Yavaş were the first opposition mayors who garnered enough votes in 2019 to gain mayorship in Istanbul and Ankara, the capital.
Read Bianet's analysis >> here <<
★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that Turkey could part ways with the European Union if necessary when asked about the contents of a recent European Parliament report on Turkey.
The report said Turkey's accession process to the union could not resume under current circumstances. It called for the European Union to explore a parallel and realistic framework for its ties with Turkey.
Turkey has been an unofficial candidate for membership for 24 years. The talks for joining the European Union stalled because of concerns about human rights violations and respect for the rule of law in Turkey.
The report noted the ever-increasing degradation of democracy, concern about women's rights, gender-based violence and deaths of women at the hands of men, widespread hate speech, and discrimination against the LGBT.
The report also noted Turkey's growing economic relations with Russia, opposition to Sweden's NATO membership, and its relations with some neighboring countries.
Read the report
>> here <<
★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, a Turkish cleric at the Elhaç Timurtaş Mosque in Istanbul said the national women's volleyball team are infidels. He also said that it is a sin to watch them and that these women are grinding down Islam.
A video of His attack on the national women's volleyball team is circulating on social media.
The team became the European champions earlier this month.
★ According to Bianet, on September 14, in the proceedings related to the Madımak Massacre, the judge dropped the cases against three fugitive defendants due to the statute of limitations.
In front of the courthouse, Alevi organizations, lawyers, and other citizens protested the decision.
In the fire started by those opposed to the gathering at Madımak Hotel in Sivas on July 2, 1993, thirty-seven people, including thirty-three artists and writers, two hotel workers, and
two protesters died.
Thirty-three intellectuals were there to attend the Pir Sultan Abdal festivities.
Sixty-five people, including fourteen police officers, got wounded in the fire.
Most of the people killed were from Turkey's Alevi community. The protesters and attackers were from the Sunni community.
Turkish authorities arrested 124 people. In a seven-year trial, the court sentenced 33 people to death and 85 to prison from 2 to 15 years.
When Turkey abolished the death penalty, courts converted the death sentences of thirty-three people to aggravated life sentences.
★ Dr. Fahrettin Koca, Turkey's health minister, announced that they detected Eris, the new coronavirus variant, in nine people.
"It was likely to emerge in our country as it is prevalent in other countries. We will protect our elderly and chronic patients," Dr. Koca added.
Fifty countries announced that they had seen the new variant. The director general of the World Health Organization stated there was a concerning increase in cases and deaths.
★ In our news last week, we covered the ordeal of an American cave expert who had a health emergency 3000 feet below the ground.
According to the Anatolia News Agency, rescuers brought Mark Dickey last week to the surface, and he got into treatment at a Turkish hospital.
In a press conference, Mark Dickey said he would like to return to the cave and explore it further.
In addition to the Turkish teams, 196 search and rescue experts from eight countries worked on bringing Mark Dickey out of the cave.
★ According to the Anatolia news agency, on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met on Friday with the Jewish community leaders.
Mr. Erdoğan wished that Rosh Hashanah brought health, peace, and well-being to all Jewish people, especially the Jewish community in Turkey.
★ On September 11, Turkey's central bank announced that the current account recorded a net deficit of $5.5 billion in July. The figure is about $1 billion more than the markets were expecting. In June, there was a surplus of $674 million.
According to economists, the current account balance of payments is a record of a country's international transactions with the rest of the world.
★ According to Reuters, a pipeline carrying oil from Iraq to Turkey will reopen soon. It was closed for maintenance and repairs after floods in the area.
According to Euronews, in March, Turkey stopped the oil coming from northern Iraq after an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration said Turkey had to pay Iraq $1.4 billion in penalty for unauthorized exports by the Iraqi Kurds between 2014 and 2018.
★ Euronews said that economists expect the Turkish policy rate to increase from 25% to 30%.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan let the new governor of the Turkish central bank increase rates. He fired previous governors when they raised interest rates to fight high inflation.
Mr. Erdoğan opposes high-interest rates, incorrectly claiming that they cause inflation.
However, his low-interest rates policy caused sky-high inflation in the country, reaching one month as high as 180%.
The central bank recently raised the expected inflation rate at the end of the year to 65% and lowered the economic growth figures.
★ In recent years, three major rating agencies downgraded Turkey's credit rating to non-investment grade due to unconventional monetary policies and currency crises.
However, an analyst at the credit rating agency Moody's stated that the benefits of a return to traditional economic policies were apparent, and Turkey's credit rating could also rise if it sticks to it.
Moody's will announce the new rating in December. Fitch Ratings, another rating agency, announced on September 8 that it has revised Turkey's sovereign credit rating to "stable" from "negative."
★ According to the Anatolia News Agency, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the G-20 summit in New Delhi.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Erdoğan and other leaders and heads of delegations at Rajghat, a Gandhi memorial.
Mr. Erdoğan also held bilateral meetings with participating leaders on the sidelines.
Among them was a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He later met with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, his Egyptian counterpart. Turkey's communications directorate said that the two leaders discussed increasing trade volume, new cooperation in the field of energy, and regional and global issues.
★ According to Euronews, the U.S. announced new sanctions aimed at people and companies in countries, notably NATO member Turkey, that sell Western technology to Russia.
The U.S. accuses Turkish companies of supplying Russia with Western electronic components like computer chips and processors that Russia can use in military applications.
The U.S. also targeted Turkish companies that repaired Russian ships. There are five Turkish companies under sanctions and one individual Turk.
In June 2022, a high-level American delegation, including Wally Adeyemo, the undersecretary for treasury, visited Turkey to express American concern about sanctions busting.
★ Istanbul, the cultural hub of Turkey, will feature the following events in the next few weeks:
Borusan Sanat, the cultural arm of a pipeline manufacturing and installation company, is starting its musical programs. BIFO, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, and Borusan Quartet start their new season with the following:
October 12 at Zorlu PSM: BIFO will perform Fazıl Say's new work "A 100-Year Old Child" or Symphony Number Six. Borusan Sanat commissioned the symphony for the one-hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.
October 19 at Zorlu PSM: BIFO will accompany young students from a music school pianist Turkish sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel established for another concert for the one-hundredth anniversary of the Republic.
October 23 at Süreyya Opera House in Kadıköy: Borusan Quartet will perform the works of Ulvi Cemal Erkin and Ahmet Adnan Saygun, two of the first-generation composers of the Republic. It will also perform Cem Oslu's composition for the Quartet titled "By the Time You Wink," commissioned by Borusan Sanat.
Borusan Music House will have 15 performances, presenting contemporary, new music, improvisation, and avant-garde jazz in the 2023/24 season.
★ On Friday, a group of 50 people traveled from the Greek island of Kos to Turkey's Bodrum town to participate in the friendship and brotherhood concert, reports the Anatolia news agency.
Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras greeted the Greek guests, one of them being Theodosis Nikitaras, the Kos mayor.
The concert featured regional music from Bodrum and Kos. The musicians sang the song "The Narrowest Point of the Straight" in Greek and Turkish. There were also regional folk dancing performances.
It is the second concert of its kind.
★ According to TRT, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, the Istanbul Coffee Festival was on Thursday. The event featured baristas, roasting houses, and artisanal delicacies. Thousands of coffee lovers gathered at the event venue to taste many varieties of coffee.
The first coffee shop in Istanbul opened in 1555 after the conquest of Yemen in 1517 by Ottomans, where Turks started getting their coffee.
Watch the TRT video here:
>> here <<
★ Gaziantep, listed by UNESCO as the first city representing Turkey in the Creative Cities Network in the field of Gastronomy with 116 cities from other parts of the world, is known for its cuisine, flavors, culture, and art. Turks throughout Turkey recognize its cuisine.
This year, it comes to the world stage again with the "GastroAntep Culture Road Festival" between 16-24 September.
"International Gaziantep Gastronomy Festival," organized for the fifth time this year by Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, will take place with the "Turkey Cultural Road Festivals," One of the most comprehensive cultural and artistic projects in the world, undertaken by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey to unite Turkey's cultural values with people from different local and foreign cultures in the universal language of art.
★ According to the Focus on Travel News website, the International Chefs Championship will be in Istanbul between November 23-26th at the Istanbul Exhibition Center.
The event will bring together renowned chefs and leading figures from the gastronomy world.
One thousand chefs from many countries, including Russia, the Netherlands, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, and Pakistan, will attend. They will compete in 20 different categories.
In addition, the first two days of the event will feature conferences titled "International Chefs Talks." These sessions will delve into the culinary and cultural offerings of various countries, from Lebanon to Malaysia and Tunisia to Uzbekistan, presented by leading figures in gastronomy.
The championship will culminate with the event: "Special Little Chefs Compete," featuring young chefs at stage, crafting pastries alongside renowned chefs.
★ The 27th Istanbul Theater Festival will open its curtains on October 25.
The festival, curated by Işıl Kasapoğlu, will host 20 theater, performances, and dance shows from Turkey and abroad.
★ The International Women Short Film Directors Festival will take place in Turkey this year, Bianet reports.
This year, alongside the workshops at the Barış Manço Cultural Center, a documentary consisting of thirteen short films shot by Alice Guy between 1898 and 1907 will be screened at the festival in collaboration with the French Cultural Center.
Over 40 films in the National, International, Documentary, and Young Perspective categories, and Berna Gençalp's documentary film "Kim Mihri" will meet the audience at the festival through special screenings.
Furthermore, as is the tradition, the festival will host events with prominent figures in the field. There will be discussions with author Ayfer Tunç and female comedians Deniz Özturhan and Hande Yögen.
Organized with the contributions of the Women in Cinema Association and the support of Kadıköy Municipality, the festival will award the Best Film Award to a selected film in each category.
The festival will be on September 22-24.
★ In the Architecture and Design magazine, Sam Cochran wrote that a 16th-century Turkish bath is now a multipurpose arts and wellness center.
Designed and built by the renowned Ottoman architect and civil engineer Mimar Sinan, the bath is called Zeyrek Tiled Bath, named for the blue Iznik tiles that once lined it. It went into service in 1540. It is in the Zeyrek neighborhood of the Fatih district of Istanbul.
Sam Cochran writes that its domed rooms are a breathtaking backdrop for communal bathing.
History took its toll (those tiles, for instance, were long ago sold off to private and public collections), and the complex eventually fell into disrepair.
However, The Marmara Group, a Turkish hospitality and real estate company, commissioned the KA-BA Architecture firm leader project to renovate it.
The project took 13 years to complete.
★ A customs inscription from the Lycian civilization, found in Andriake port in the Demre district of the southern Turkish province of Antalya, tells about ancient times and reflects the importance of Turkey's geographical location in maritime trade thousands of years ago.
Andriake is three miles away from the Demre district of Antalya. It was one of the most important ports of Lycia in ancient times. It is known as the port of the ancient city of Myra rather than being a separate city.
The inscription, discovered around the largest granary in the Mediterranean, named after Emperor Hadrian, has information about the Lycian Union Customs Laws, port usage rules and taxes, and those who brought goods through maritime trade. It dates back to 60-63 CE.
The Lycian League was an alliance of 23 cities along the Teke Peninsula on the Mediterranean coast. The league, known as the first democratic union in history, served as a model for modern democratic systems, including that of the U.S. Patara was the capital, and Xanthos, Pinara, Olympos, Myra, and Tlos were among the major cities of this federation.
The excavations of the ancient port of Andriake began in 2009. Excavation director Prof. Nevzat Çevik said they deepened the dig around where they found the inscription.
While archaeologists unearthed various structures such as the granary, agora, baths, port shops, honorary monuments, five churches, and shipyards during the excavations, the customs inscription is the focus of the work this year.
★ Archaeologists found a seal impression of Hattusili III, his children, his wife Puduhepa, and princes, as well as clay seal prints belonging to the King's eldest son, Crown Prince Nerikaili, during the excavations carried out near the village of Kayalıpınar in Yıldızeli district of Sivas province, located in the central Anatolia region of Turkey.
Hattusili III was in power between 1267 and 1237 BCE.
Archaeologists have excavated in Kayalıpınar since 2004. Artifacts indicate that this region was one of the Hittite cities of the Imperial period.
According to the Anadolu Agency, Dr. Çigdem Maner is leading the excavations. She is a professor at Koç University's Department of Archeology and Art History. Foreign scientists and scholars are also present in the team.
Maner said the settlement was from the Old Assyrian and Hittite periods, and this year's findings and architecture show that people occupied it over a much wider span of time previously thought.
★ Authorities found out that in the Besni district of Adıyaman province, located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, the Romans dug a 150-meter-long water tunnel into the mountain 1,700 years ago to irrigate their lands with the water flowing from the river.
Previously known to the villagers, authorities entered the water tunnel for the first time,
Experts determined that Romans crowd out the tunnel, which is 500 feet long, 35 inches wide, and 5-7 feet high, to transport water from the Sofraz River to the fields.
The water canal constructed along the riverbank joins with the excavated water tunnel and extends to the agricultural lands to the south.
★ Archaeologists at the Aşağıseyit Mound site in western Anatolia's Denizli have uncovered a 3,500-year-old grape seed.
Aşağıseyit Mound Settlement is within the boundary of Çal district of Denizli Province. It was on a natural strategic passage and an important center surrounded by walls during the 2nd millennium BCE.
Surveys conducted in the Upper Menderes Basin have revealed that the mountainous and plateau areas are at least as densely settled as lowland sections, and these areas have significant importance from an archaeological point of view.
Led by associate professor Erim Konakçı from the Department of Archaeology at Izmir Democracy University, the team has been working on the excavation project.
Among the finds reached by the excavation team this year, the remains of grape seeds dating back 3,500 years stand out. Konakci said they also found humans consumed barley and wheat during the Hellenistic and Late Bronze Ages.
★ According to the General Directorate of Meteorology, Turkey experienced the driest August in 33 years.
The precipitation was 57% lower than the 1991-2021 averages. The northwestern region of Marmara is considered the country's granary, so 70% decrease. Istanbul, the largest metropolitan area in the Marmara region, had the water levels in its 10 dams dropped to 26.6%, causing a severe water shortage.
In the east of Turkey, Lake Van, Turkey's largest lake with a surface area of 1435 mi.², has seen a significant drop in water levels due to reduced rainfall and rapid evaporation.
The vanishing waters have revealed centuries-old microbialites, historical structures, and settlements that were submerged in previous centuries when the lake's levels were higher. The changes in the lake's coastline due to the effects of drought have been evident even in satellite images.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 26.96
Turkish Premiere Soccer league
Standings in the league:
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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