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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 23 September 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 23 September 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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★ Istanbul is running out of water, and Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said it was an alarming situation.

  Mr. İmamoğlu said as of September 19, water levels in dams were 25%.

  This year, dams received the lowest annual rainfall in the last decade, according to Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration. Last month, Şafak Başa, the administration director, called on Istanbulites to save water amid scorching heat and extreme drought when the reservoirs were at 35%.

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

  On Thursday, he said he was bothered by LGBT colors on the steps and other places while entering the assembly's meeting hall, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  Erdoğan said he would have liked to discuss this issue with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Turkey's government, led by Mr. Erdoğan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, has toughened its stance on LGBT freedoms.

  Some U.N. diplomats suggested Erdoğan might have confused the 17 colors associated with the Sustainable Development Goals decorating parts of the U.N. headquarters, including steps, for a summit held earlier this week, with the rainbow Pride colors associated with LGBT rights.

★ At a press conference in New York, President Erdoğan said he disagreed with others' negative approach toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  Erdoğan added that Russia was not a country that one could disregard and repeated he was hopeful of a solution to revive the Black Sea grain initiative. Moscow withdrew from the agreement this year.

  The initiative allowed the sailing of ships to export grain from Ukraine and Russia. Mr. Erdogan and the UN brokered the deal.

  Read the details >> here <<

★ Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Hakan Fidan was also in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations Gen. Assembly.

  Mr. Fidan added bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other countries. He also met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

★ On September 17, with the Justice and Development Party-led government support, anti-LGBT organizations held a rally in Istanbul's Fatih district, reports the daily Duvar.

  The organizers claimed that hundreds of thousands of people attended the rally, but footage showed only a few hundred were present.

  The "Great Family Gathering," RETÜK, Turkey's media watchdog, broadcast the rally promotional video as a public service announcement on TV channels.

  The participants held banners reading "Stop socio-cultural terrorism," "Family is the address of the solution, not the problem," and "Say stop to LGBT propaganda in the art world."

★ Reuters correspondent Burcu Karakas wrote that Syrian refugees faced growing pressure from Turkey's anti-migrant political wave.

  Turkish authorities asked the ones in Istanbul to leave the city if they are registered elsewhere in Turkey. More than half a million Syrians live in the sprawling metropolis.

  Officially, there are 3.3 million Syrians in Turkey, but with the undocumented, the number is much higher.

  With the dire economic situation in Turkey, Turks turned against the migrants and refugees.

  Justice and Development Party-led administration, eager to get the votes in the 2024 March local elections, is tightening the screws.

  Bianet also reported that Turkish authorities are rounding up migrants and refugees to what they term Repatriation Centers.

  There, officials asked them to sign documents saying they voluntarily left Turkey. However, Lawyer Gülden Sönmez says they sign the documents out of fear, pressure, and the psychological toll of being held in the Repatriation Centers, and their consent is not genuine.

  Read the Bianet Report >> here <<    Read the Reuters Report >> here <<

★ On September 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an exclusive interview to the U. S. television program PBS News Hour ahead of his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, reports the Voice of America.

  The Voice of America article says that under Erdoğan's two-decade rule, Turkey has become one of the world's most prolific jailers of journalists and human rights activists.

  Amna Nawaz, the interviewer, asked the Turkish president if these people threatened him.

  Mr. Erdoğan became combative and asked why Nawaz was interested in the topic and implied that the courts are independent in Turkey.

  The Voice of America article said that is misleading and added that despite claims of judicial independence, Mr. Erdoğan has used Turkey's courts to target dissent.

  Read the full article and watch the PBS interview >> here <<

★ The government of Kirkuk, an Iraqi city with a sizable Turkmen population, designated Turkish as one of the official languages in government affairs, Anatolia news agency reports.

  Kurdish and Syriac are already official languages in the city.

  Turkmen are 7% of Iraq's population of 38 million, making them the third largest ethnic group.

★ Writing in the Palatinate, Durham's official student newspaper, Matthew Kavanagh explained that ostracization is pushing European Turks into the arms of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party.

  Here is a summary of his article:

  Kavanagh points out that in late May, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won a narrow victory over presidential and political rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

  Most European Turks, especially in Germany, overwhelmingly supported Mr. Erdoğan, helping him achieve victory.

  Although the Turks have been in Germany for 60 years, they have not integrated into the society due to German policies.

  For example, until 2000, German law did not allow citizenship to those born in Germany to Turkish parents. When Turks were allowed citizenship, they met another hurdle: At least one of the parents had to have lived in Germany for eight years.

  It also made it difficult for Turks to retain dual citizenship. In 2016, of the 3 million Turks living in Germany, only 246,000 held German citizenship.

  Mr. Erdoğan seized upon Turks feeling Turkish first and pushed out of mainstream German society.

  In Britain, where strict policies do not exist against immigrants, Turks overwhelmingly supported opposition leader Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu.


★ Elon Musk met with President Erdoğan in New York. Mr. Erdoğan invited Musk to invest in Turkey and open a Tesla plant there.

  He also asked him to start Starlink, a satellite-based Internet service, in Turkey. On its Internet pages, Starlink writes that the service will be coming soon. It also announces that it is looking for customer representatives in Turkey with good wages for the country.

  The meeting took place at the Turkish House in New York. Elon Musk came to see the Turkish president with his three-year-old son, who sat in his father's lap throughout the meeting.

★ According to Reuters, the Turkish central bank raised its key interest rate again to 30% from 25%.

  In the past, Mr. Erdoğan, who erroneously thought that high-interest rates caused higher inflation, fired previous heads of the central bank for raising the interest rates. However, since lower interest rates did not check the ever-increasing inflation, analysts say Mr. Erdoğan grudgingly agreed to rate increases.

★ The first grain ship to sail from Ukraine since Russia reimposed its Black Sea blockade in July reached Istanbul on Thursday, marine traffic monitors said.

★ Turkey has agreed that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd will continue to operate the Istanbul Sabiha Gokchen International Airport.

★ Hundreds of industrial kitchen companies from 100 countries are in Istanbul for the 25th Hostech Fair that began Wednesday, reports the Anatolia News Agency.

  The five-day event will host sector representatives from hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

  About 600 firms will exhibit products and services, and 2,000 buyers will participate.

★ The 4th Turkey-Africa Business and Economic Forum is set to take place in Istanbul on Oct. 12-13, Anatolia News Agency reports.

  The two-day event, organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board in coordination with Turkey's Trade Ministry and the African Union, expects to see 3,000 participants.

  The trade volume between Turkey and Africa was $40 billion in 2003. Analysts expect it to be $50 billion.

★ Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 160 Turkish-made Jackal drones, reports the Defense News.

  Murat Islioglu, general manager of Turkish business Fly BVLOS Technology, told Defense News the Jackal drone was originally for civilian use.

  The Jackal is a remotely piloted air system able to land and take off vertically.

★ Turkish cafe chain MADO will open a third location in Canada, reports the Verdict Food Service.

  The new location will be in the Don Mills Community in Toronto.

  Yaşar Kanbur established MADO in Turkey in 1850. The family-run business has 400 locations in 22 countries.

  See the company pages >> here <<


Photograph by Dick Osseman, used with his permission.

  Read the details >> here <<

★ Escape, an online publication from Australia, carried an article titled "Luxury or less? Here is how to indulge in a spa Day in Istanbul."

  The article was about the newly opened Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, a new spar in Istanbul.

  The article wrote:

  "It's an obvious choice if you're lucky enough to be staying at this stunning hotel. But even if you're not, it's worth considering a visit here for a truly luxurious couple of hours. The facilities cover 35000 sq ft below ground and are just as opulent as you would expect, from the state-of-the-art hammam through to the indoor/outdoor pools (including an adorable kids pool) and an impressive fitness and wellness center."

★ Apple TV+ confirmed on September 20 when the new season of Slow Horses will be released.

  Apple stated that "in season three, a romantic liaison in Istanbul threatens to expose a buried MI5 secret in London."

★ Season 2 of Netflix's Turkish Drama "The Club" Is Full of Touching Jewish Details, wrote Lior Zaltzman.

  Zaltzman adds that the drama features powerful Jewish mothers, Ladino, and the Jewish wedding.

  "The Club" is a rare show — it's a masterful soap, created by Zeynep Günay Tan, one of the most lauded makers of Turkish dramas, but it also explores Jewish life in Turkey in depths and color never before seen on TV.

  Read more about the drama >> here <<


  Watch the video and read the recipe >> here <<

★ Better Homes had an article and a video that described how to make lahmacun, referred to as Turkish pizza.

  The video featured Karen Martini. >> here <<

  Lahmacun is a popular Turkish street food and a traditional Middle Eastern dish.

  Typically, lahmacun is a thin flat bread topped with seasoned ground meat.

  The meat is spread thinly on the flatbread and cooked in a hot oven or stovetop.

  Once the meat is cooked, it is topped with fresh vegetables, like lettuce, cucumber, and mint, and served with a bit of lemon juice or a sauce.


  See a larger view of the picture and read more >> here <<

★ UNESCO entered into the world heritage list two entities from Turkey: the wooden mosques of medieval Anatolia and the Gordion ancient city.

  The second entry to the Turkish World Heritage Sites made in 2023, after the ancient site of Gordion, are the wooden mosques of medieval Anatolia. The property consists of five mosques built in Anatolia between the late 13th and mid-14th centuries. They are in five different provinces of present-day Turkey. These mosques have an exterior built of masonry and multiple rows of wooden interior columns that support a flat wooden ceiling and roof. The masterful woodcarving and handiwork used in these mosques' architectural fittings and furnishings are also noteworthy.

  Read more >> here <<

  The archaeological site of Gordion is in an open rural landscape in the Polatlı district of the central Ankara Province. The site contains the remains of the ancient capital of Phrygia, an Iron Age independent kingdom. Phrygians were Indo-European-speaking people who lived in central-western Anatolia in antiquity and developed an advanced Bronze Age culture.

  Archaeological excavations and research have revealed a wealth of remains that document construction techniques, spatial arrangements, defensive structures, and inhumation practices. These remains shed light on Phrygian culture and economy. Most importantly, a burial place, popularly dubbed as the "Tomb of Midas", revealed a wooden structure deeply buried under a vast tumulus, containing grave goods, a coffin, furniture, and food offerings, now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations in Ankara.


  See a larger view of the picture and read more >> here <<

★ In excavations led by the Amasra Museum Directorate in Bartın, northern Turkey, archeologists discovered the head of a statue believed to depict "Alexander the Great" from the Roman Empire era in the Amasra district.

  The discovery was during ongoing work in an area preserved since 2017 when historical remnants appeared during a school construction in the Kum neighborhood, Anatolia News Agency reported.

  In addition, archeologists also unearthed other findings.


  View a larger version of the photograph and read the details >> here <<

★ According to Artnet, archeologists discovered a 215,000-square-foot underground ancient city in Turkey's central Anatolian Cappadocia region.

  Hasan Uğuz, an archaeologist directing the excavations, said the carved underground areas resemble a palace and hands the local name "Palace Cave."

  There are already many other underground cities identified earlier in the region. Sarayini is the largest. One smaller city, discovered in 1963, is 300 feet below the earth, and 20,000 people lived there.

  The city dates back to the eighth century.

★ According to Business Travel Executive, Turkish Airlines won a world-class award from the Airline Passenger Experience Association.

  The award recognizes the carrier's global leadership in guest experience and service quality.

  Turkish Airlines has a fleet of 429 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 344 worldwide destinations in 129 countries.

  Read the details >> here <<



  Read more and see a larger view the photograph >> here <<

★ James Boyd wrote in Sail World an article titled "Record fleet in Istanbul for the 22nd Bosphorus Cup ."

  With the magnificent metropolis of Istanbul as a backdrop, the event's strongest fleet ever of 80 yachts, lined up on the Sea of Marmara for the opening races of the Bosphorus Cup.

  These started on Friday with some windward-leeward and coastal courses in the Caddebostan-Prince Islands-Kalamis area before Saturday's famous race in the narrows of the Bosphorus itself within the heart of Istanbul, before returning for Sunday's grand finale off Caddebostan.

  Saturday's race is a major achievement for the Bosphorus Cup's organizers. They negotiated to get the narrow strait separating mainland Europe from Asia, which typically sees five times the traffic of the Panama Canal, closed to commercial traffic for five hours.


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


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