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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 28 October 2023
[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 28 October 2023]
Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the
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★ On October 25, Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that the rights of Can Atalay, the imprisoned parliamentarian from the Workers' Party of Turkey, were violated due to the authorities' refusal to release him despite being elected in the May elections.
Atalay is among the eight people that a Turkish court convicted for allegedly organizing and supporting the 2013 countrywide anti-government protests, known as the Gezi Park protests. The court sentenced him to 18 years in prison for "aiding and attempting to overthrow the government."
The Constitutional Court, by a 9-5 majority vote, determined that violations encompassed not only his "right to vote and be elected" but also the "personal security and liberty."
On October 28, after seeing that the Justice and Development Party administration had still not released Atalay, friends and colleagues held a protest at the Çağlayan Courthouse, calling for the prompt implementation of the Constitutional Court's decision.
Can Atalay is a prominent human rights lawyer and a member of the Workers' Party of Turkey. He has defended many activists, journalists, academics, and politicians who have faced prosecution for their dissenting views or participation in protests.
★ On October 27, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party Youth Branch staged sit-in protests at Starbucks stores across the country against the company's "pro-Israel stance."
On October 25, the Turkish President openly sided with Hamas in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians. He said that Hamas is not a terror group, but rather, it is a group of liberation fighters.
He said that Turkey does not have a problem with the state of Israel, but it will never endorse its actions targeting civilians in Gaza.
He announced that Turkey would impose sanctions on Israel. Turkey suspended its joint gas exploration and pipeline construction with Israel in the eastern Mediterranean.
The plan was to transport the eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe through Turkey.
Mr. Erdoğan said the current trade volume with Israel is $9.5 billion. He said that the plan was to increase this to $15 billion.
★ University students across Turkey have protested the negligence of state-run dormitories' management and shouted: "Not an accident, but murder."
The move came after a student died as an elevator fell in a state-run dormitory in the western province of Aydın despite the students' warnings regarding the elevator several times.
Authorities detained the person in charge of the elevator maintenance company and fired the dormitory manager.
★ The ruling Justice and Development and its coalition partner Nationalist Action parties voted down a bill by the People's Equality and Democracy Party to establish a commission in the Turkish parliament to find the bodies of those who perished beneath the rubble in the February earthquakes that affected the eleven provinces in Turkey's southern and southeastern regions.
★ On October 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeted the LGBT community once again as "the biggest threat against the Turkish family" during his speech at the Council on Families and stated that the Turkish population should increase.
He also criticized the weakening of the family institution and said that the country's population should increase "way more," reminding his party's minimum three-children suggestion per family.
★ In a parliamentary motion, pro-Kurdish deputy Meral Danış Beştaş has asked Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç why jailed Kurdish politician Gültan Kışanak is still being kept in prison for seven years without being sentenced.
Ms. Beştaş reminded the Justice Minister that Kışanak completed the seven-year maximum arrest period.
★ The Media Freedom Rapid Response, an organization that monitors press freedom, reported that from January to June 2023, it documented 575 press freedom violations affecting 844 individuals or media organizations across European Union member states and candidate countries.
Of these, 136 incidents involving 172 individuals or media organizations occurred in Turkey.
★ Turkey has intensified its strikes on the Kurdish-controlled parts of northern Syria.
Turkey's airstrikes on Syria's Rojava region killed a Syrian Democratic Forces leader. Syrian Democratic Forces is a militia group led by Kurds. Turkey considers it an extension of the rebel Turkish Kurds, but the U. S. gives them support.
★ Turkey's central bank has again increased its policy rate by 500 basis points, bringing it to 35%. With this move, the central bank has increased the rate by 2,650 basis points since June following the elections.
The bank's policy committee repeated it is ready to raise rates further as needed to curb inflation, which climbed to an annual rate of 61.53% in September, and economists expect it to rise into next year.
★ The Turkish government will give financial support to students to buy computers. The computer purchase needs to be cheaper than about $350. The students will also get 12 months of free Internet with 10 gigabytes per month of service.
★ On October 25, Turkey's Gen. directorate of highways announced substantial increases in toll rates for highway and bridge crossings, reaching up to 80%. However, President Erdoğan postponed the hikes until 2024.
★ Turkish actress Ece Bağcı won the "Best Supporting Actress" award at the Chicago Film Festival for her role as "Sevim" in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest film, "About Dry Grasses."
At the age of 16, Bağcı is currently continuing her education in the Theater Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts High School. Her debut film role was in "About Dry Grasses," where she showcased her talent alongside the film's lead actors Deniz Celiloğlu, Merve Dizdar, and Musab Ekici.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's film, which competed for the 'Palme d'Or' at the 76th Cannes Film Festival and earned Merve Dizdar the "Best Actress" award, continues its journey in international festivals.
The film is currently at the top of the box office rankings in Turkey.
★ The festival, hosting participants from 40 cities from 26 countries in Antalya, started with pilates training on the balcony of Kaleiçi, which translates as "Fortress Inner Court," a neighborhood overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Participants had the opportunity to visit photography and painting exhibitions in the ancient city throughout the day and attended watercolor marbling, tile, and ceramic workshops.
The festival planned for 103 events at 33 locations in the city, will continue with workshops, interviews, live performances, and concerts.
The festival will end on October 29.
★ Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy announced that Turkey's cultural richness is now on the Google Arts and Cultural Platform.
Prepared by the Culture and Tourism Ministry's Cultural Belongings and Museums Journaled Directorate, the Google platform features over 70 digital stories on ethnography, archaeologic, cultural, and natural heritage, and 20 webpages on museums and ancient ruins.
You can reach the Google platform >> here <<
★ Archaeologists discovered a goddess statue believed to be around 5000 years old at the Yeşilova Mound in İzmir, western Turkey.
The figurine, crafted from baked clay materials, measures approximately 4 inches in height and is similar to others found on the Greek island of Lesbos. However, the one found in Turkey is 500 years older than the Lesbos one.
Dr. Zafer Derin, the head of the excavations and a professor at the Ege University Archaeology Department, described the goddess as depicted as a naked woman with hair neatly gathered at the back.
★ During the rescue excavations at the Körzüt Fort in the Muradiye district of Van province in eastern Turkey, archaeologists found two cuneiform inscriptions and a 2,800-year-old Urartian Susi temple.
Susi Temple is a square, single-chambered tower-like building.
Körzüt is the Turkish name for the Urartian fort located on a rock spur.
The inscriptions on the fort write that Urartian king Minua had it built.
Dr. Sabahattin Erdoğan, a professor of archaeology at Yüzüncü Yıl University, leads the rescue excavations.
Dr. Erdoğan said they identified another temple similar to the Susi temple last year at the location. He said that this is unusual.
The plastered mud bricks found at the site feature blue plaster typical of Urartian temples, and archaeologists speculate that mythological scenes carved in brown or black might be present on these blocks.
Urartu was an Iron Age kingdom centered around Lake in what is now Eastern Turkey.
Urartu frequently warred with Assyria and became, for a time, the most powerful state in the Near East. Weakened by constant conflict, the Iranian Medes eventually conquered them in the early 6th century BCE.
They spoke a non-Indo-European, non-Semitic language.
★ Last year, preservation experts failed "nano lime" with syringes to protect the tiny cracks on the stone statues on Mount Nemrut in Adıyaman, located in the southeastern region of Turkey. Authorities announced this year that the application gave positive results.
The 2000-year-old statues developed cracks over time. They are on the east and west terraces of Mount Nemrut at a height of 7000 feet.
Gaziantep Restoration and Conservation Regional Laboratory Director Ayşe Ebru Çorbaşı and the restorers filled the sandstone body of the Eagle statue on the East terrace and the feet and body of Herakles, the son of Zeus, on the West terrace.
Commagene King Antiochus I had the statues built in 62 BCE.
UNESCO declared Mount Nemrut a World Heritage site in 1987.
Commagene was an ancient Greco-Iranian kingdom ruled by a Hellenized branch of the Iranian Orontid dynasty that had ruled over what is now Eastern Turkey between 163 BCE and 72 CE.
The kingdom was in and around the ancient city of Samosata, which served as its capital. The Iron Age name of Samosata, Kummuh, probably gives its name to Commagene.
★ Istanbul's Zeytinburnu district is now host to a mosaic museum. It is currently displaying late Roman and early Byzantine mosaics from the fifth century BCE found in the area.
The museum building, built as a hospital for workers at a military weapons factory, dates back to the 19th century. In 2015, when renovating the structure, work crews found the mosaics 4.5 feet below the ground floor level.
Later excavations found the remaining portion of the mosaics away from the building, bringing the total area to 2100 square feet.
Archaeologists also found a carved stone grave with two skeletons carbon dated two second century CE.
One of the skeletons belonged to a 40-50-year-old man, and the other to a 30-40-year-old woman. The Middle Eastern Technical University experts continue with DNA tests on the skeletons.
★ Archaeologists found a grave, estimated to be twelve thousand years old, during excavations in Direkli Cave in Kahramanmaraş, in southeastern Turkey.
Dr. Cevdet Merih Erek, head of the excavation and a professor of archaeology at the Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University, said that they had to carry out the work with fewer people this year due to the February earthquakes centered at Kahramanmaraş.
Stating that they reached the third grave at the site since 2007, Erek said that they found the first grave in 2009, the second grave with a skeleton inside in 2019, and the last grave in 2023.
Archaeologists think that the graves belonged to a hunter-gatherer community.
★ Yapı Kredi Museum hosts the exhibition "In Pursuit of an Ideal: Atatürk and Alaca Höyük." It features archaeological artifacts unearthed during the excavations at Alaca Höyük.
The curator of the exhibition, In Pursuit of an Ideal: Atatürk and Alaca Höyük, prepared specifically for the 100th anniversary of the Republic, was Nihat Tekdemir, and its scientific advisor was Tayfun Yıldırım.
Nihat Tekdemir, the exhibition curator, stated that a significant part of the artifacts were unearthed
in 1935 and preserved in different museums in Turkey.
As part of the exhibition, organizers moved a significant part of the artifacts unearthed during the Alaca Höyük excavations temporarily to the Yapı Kredi Museum.
It is the first time that these artifacts are on an exhibition together and said, "In the exhibition, elegantly crafted silver inlaid bronze deer and bull statues belonging to the Hatti civilization.
"There are archaeological artifacts belonging to the Hittites, who emerged on the stage of history in Anatolia after the Hattians, as well as sun discs, idols, gold jewelry, jugs, goblets," he added.
The Hattians were an ancient Bronze Age people that inhabited the land of Hatti in central Anatolia in modern Turkey. They spoke a distinctive Hattian language, which was neither Semitic nor Indo-European.
Faced with Hittite expansion starting in 2000 BCE, by 1700 BCE, Hattians were gradually absorbed into the new political and social order imposed by the Hittites, one of the Indo-European-speaking Anatolian peoples.
The Hittites kept the country name, "land of Hatti," unchanged, which also became the designation for the Hittite state.
★ Other headlines in the archaeological news:
- Turkish archaeologists deciphered how the ancients repaired a broken 4000-year-old earthenware container. They made holes in the broken pieces and used lead rings to hold them together!
- In excavations at the Tripolis Ancient City in Turkey's Western province of Denizli's Buldan district, archaeologists found a 600-foot-long trench. They determined that the occupying Greek troops dug it during the Turkish War of Independence.
- During the archaeological excavations in Yassı Höyük in the Afşin district of Kahramanmaraş province in southeastern Turkey, archaeologists reached under the Roman period layer, discovering architectural remains with fine features. The layer is from the Achaemenids, which established a state spread over large areas approximately 2,600 years ago until Alexander the Great destroyed it.
- Also in Afşin, but at a different site, archaeologists found a 1500-year-old mosaic floor. The mosaic features peacocks, gazelles, and floral ornamentation. It is bordered by a rectangle that features waves and, at the very perimeter, floral and diamond-shaped elements.
- In excavations in the 1400-year-old cistern in Karacahisar fortress in Eskişehşehir province in central Turkey, archaeologists found coins, ceramic and glass shards, and bone fragments.
There were 1288 coins belonging to the Byzantine, early Ottoman, Germiyanoğulları, Aydınoğulları, Menteşeoğulları, Karamanoğulları principalities, as well as the lord of Lesbos, Francesco II Gattilusio, and the voivode of Wallachia, Mircea. The findings shed light on the formation and change processes in Ottoman history in the context of both trade and military relations.
EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 28.1
High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey : 75/55 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean : 82/70 Partly Cloudy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey : 64/43 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 75/64 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean : 81/66 Mostly Cloudy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea : 77/61 Partly Cloudy
* Results for week: 9
G. Saray - Beşiktaş 2 - 1
G. Antep - Antalya 1 - 0
Kayseri - Rize 3 - 1
Konya - Pendik 1 - 2
Samsun - Başakşehir 0 - 0
Sivas - Kasımpaşa 0 - 1
Fenerbahçe - Hatay 4 - 2
Istanbul - Ankaragücü 2 - 1
K.gümrük - Adana 2 - 0
Trabzon - Alanya 1 - 0
* In games played so far this weekend:
Hatay - Kayseri 1 - 2
Kasımpaşa - Istanbul 3 - 1
Adana - Konya 3 - 0
Rize - G. Saray 0 - 1
Alanya - Sivas 1 - 2
Ankaragücü - Samsun -
Pendik - Fenerbahçe -
K.gümrük - Trabzon -
Antalya - Başakşehir -
Beşiktaş - G. Antep -
* Standing in the league as of week ending 9
1 - Fenerbahçe 27
2 - G. Saray 25
3 - Adana 17
4 - Beşiktaş 16
5 - Trabzon 15
6 - Kasımpaşa 15
7 - Hatay 14
8 - Rize 14
9 - Kayseri 13
10 - Sivas 10
11 - Alanya 10
12 - Ankaragücü 9
13 - K.gümrük 9
14 - Antalya 9
15 - Konya 9
16 - G. Antep 9
17 - Başakşehir 8
18 - Pendik 7
19 - Istanbul 5
19 - Samsun 2
[Saat 14:30 and 15:30 'da iki kez okuyun]
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