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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 11 November 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 11 November 2023]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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★ Bar associations across Turkey reacted with demonstrations, marches, and legal actions Friday to a constitutional crisis in which a lower-ranking appeals court filed an unprecedented criminal complaint against Turkey's Constitutional Court judges over their decision to release a jailed parliamentarian, reports the VOA.

  Parliamentarians from opposition parties have started a "justice watch" campaign, refusing to leave the parliament until the parliament speaker brings the issue to the floor for discussion. In the meantime, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan caused further consternation Friday by weighing in on the side of the lower court.

  The Justice and Development Party administration often jails its vocal opponents on trumped-up charges. A court jailed parliamentarian Can Atalay from Turkey's Workers Party on charges that he was assisting the overthrow of the government in nationwide protests in 2013. Also charged are businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, Tayfun Kahraman, and journalists and film producer Çiğdem Mater.

  President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his administration do not like the constitutional court since they often rule against the judiciary that follows his line.

★ According to Agence France-Presse, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, and Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar met in Uzbekistan on November 9.

  According to a statement from Turkey's Presidential Communications Directorate, the parties discussed the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. President Erdoğan urged the Muslim world to pressure Israel for peace.

★ According to Dorian Jones of the VOA, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has voiced strong support for Hamas in its war against Israel, calling Hamas a liberation movement.

  At the same time, analysts say, Turkey remains a vital energy transit route for Israel. The gap between rhetoric and action is part of what analysts say is Turkey's effort to play a diplomatic role in the conflict.

  Watch Dorian Jones' media report >> here <<

★ Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to storm an airbase housing U. S. forces in Turkey, hours before U. S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due in Ankara for talks on Gaza.

  Secretary Blinken had discussions with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Hakan Fidan at the Ankara airport. Some commentators said the Turkish President and other high-ranking officials snubbed Blinken by not meeting with him.

★ Agence France-Presse reports that in a report, the European Union sidelined Turkey as it is preparing to open its door to other countries.

  The report, published Wednesday by the European Union's executive arm, accused Turkey of "serious backsliding" on democratic standards, the rule of law, human rights, and judicial independence.

  Turkey has been a candidate for membership in the European Union since 2004.

  For many European Union member states, the long-stalled accession talks are dead in all but name. In September, Austria – long opposed to Turkey's membership – even called for the process to end, Agence France-Presse adds.

  Al Jazeera reported that Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has slammed the European Commission's annual report assessing its long-stalled bid to join the European Union, saying it was unjust and biased.

  Read more >> here <<


★ In an interview, Dr. Amy Austin Holmes, a guest researcher at the George Washington University's Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, said that Turkey-backed groups cause instability in Syria, reports the Bianet, an independent news outlet from Turkey.

  "If Turkey wants some of the millions of Syrian refugees voluntarily return, then it makes no sense for Turkey to destroy one of the few places in Syria where refugees could potentially return and live without fear of the Assad regime," she added.

★ At a convention, delegates elected Özgür Özel as the new leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party.

  Many in Turkey blamed Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the outgoing leader, for his strategy that resulted in a loss in the presidential elections.

  Özgür Özel, born in 1974 in Turkey's Aegean province of Manisa, was elected to the Turkish parliament in the 2011 elections. He is a pharmacist by training.

  According to Wikipedia, Özel, along with other Republican People's Party parliamentarians from Manisa, made worldwide headlines following the Soma mine disaster in May 2014, where 301 miners died after a coal mine collapsed in Soma, Manisa Province. The disaster caused large-scale criticism of the Justice and Development Party government since it had rejected a parliamentary motion that Özel had put forward to investigate mining incidents in Soma and other mining towns just two months before the disaster. His speeches before and after the disaster received nationwide attention.

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to Deutsche Welle, the FBI is investigating whether New York mayor Eric Adams' 2021 campaign conspired with Turkey to receive foreign donations.

  Mayor Adams' attorney says his team discovered that one individual acted improperly.

  Read more >> here << from Deutsche Welle.

★ The Climate Justice Coalition says Turkey's new "Climate Law," in development for nearly three years would legitimize the "implicit" right to pollute granted to capital through the carbon market, reports Bianet.

  The coalition expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the Emission Trading System introduced in the law and suggested it has not been successful in limiting emissions. They argue that the real intention of the law is to align Turkey with the Border Carbon Adjustment, which will come into force in the European Union in early 2026.

  Seventy-five ecological, animal, and human rights organizations from Turkey have established the Climate Justice Coalition.

★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, in 2023, 16% or 17,000 foreigners with resident permits left Antalya province due to the rising cost of living.

  Antalya is a province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and a coveted vacation destination by foreign and domestic tourists and retirees.

  The real estate sales to foreigners decreased almost 30% in the first nine months of 2023.

  However, local Chamber of Commerce chair İsmail Çağlar said the Antalya real estate and rent bubble has burst. He added that the rents that reached 25,000 Turkish Liras ($880) a month during the Ukraine-Russia war were returning to normal.

★ According to Euronews Turkish, Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency, reports that Turkey ranked at the bottom of Europe in purchasing power standards and disposable income in 2022.

  Turkey was the only country in Europe where household incomes declined.


★ Around the world, Turks observed a minute of silence on Friday at 9:05 to remember first president and independence war hero Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on the anniversary of his death.

  Atatürk died in 1938.

★ On November 8, Turkey's world-renowned composer and pianist Fazıl Say performed his latest work, "The Walking Mansion," and compositions by Beethoven at Enka Auditorium in Istanbul.

  Say wrote the composition to honor Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey's first president and independence war hero.


★ The latest event of the Borusan Kocabıyık Foundation is an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.

  The Face of the Republic exhibition focuses on the projections of the multidimensional social transformation in the Early Republican Period on culture, art, and social life. It presents the period's view of cultural disciplines such as plastic arts, music, literature, graphic and architectural design, performing arts, museology, archeology, and film with comprehensive content.

  The exhibition emphasizes the themes of "establishment and salvation," inspirations for artistic creation since the Turkish War of Independence. It features more than 500 works of art.

  Ahmet Kocabıyık, Borusan Holding's founder, established the foundation that bears its name in 1997. Along with the foundation, Mr. Kocabıyık started a culture and arts Center, an Orchestra, a Philharmonic orchestra, a quartet, a music library, and a children's chorus.

  The exhibition is free and will be on until March 3, 2024, at Istanbul's Galataport.


★ Vehbi Koç Foundation's Sadberk Hanım Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Republic with a special exhibition.

  The exhibition "Elegance from Past to Future, Women's Costumes from the Late Ottoman Empire to the Early Republican Era" awaits art lovers at the museum's Abdülmecid Efendi Mansion until March 17, 2024.

  The Vehbi Koç Foundation is a major non-governmental Turkish charitable organization. It was established on January 17, 1969, by the Turkish entrepreneur and philanthropist Vehbi Koç (1901-1996). The foundation is active in education, healthcare, and culture.

  The exhibition will be on until March 17, 2024, at the museum in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul.


  Click on photo to see a larger view by

★ The Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation's Beyhan Eczacıbaşı Early Youth Literature Female Writer of the Year Award Program aims to support female writers in the youth literature genre and to contribute to equality of opportunity in the literary world.

  The foundation announced the award winner, given for the first time this year, as author Gamze Pat with her book "How I Became a Detective."

  The award ceremony took place at Istanbul Modern. Gamze Pat received a 50,000 Turkish lira award.

  The "Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation," established by Dr. Eczacıbaşı in 1978, provides scholarships for talented musicians, annual film and graphic arts awards, and grants to public schools and institutes for scientific research. It also publishes books by distinguished authors and is developing a collection of modern Turkish paintings.

  Dr. Eczacıbaşı, who lived between 1913 and 1993, was a catalyst, industrialist, entrepreneur philanthropist, and founder of the Eczacıbaşı Holding, a prominent Turkish industrial group with investments in pharmaceuticals, personal care products, consumer products, building products, and financial services.


★ According to Bianet, the second of the Beats By Girlz Turkey Festival, which supports young women who aspire to pursue their music and tell their stories, took place in Istanbul from November 1 to November 10.

  The festival featured free music, technology, creative activities, concerts, talks, and workshops.

  The festival opened its doors on Wednesday, November 1, with concerts by Selin Sümbültepe and Zuhal Olcay at Yedikule Gazhane. On Saturday, November 4, the festival showcased performances by young musicians like Bade Nosa, the Sinafi Trio, a group of three Greek female musicians, and Eda Baba, known for her powerful vocals in nostalgic Turkish pop, at Muze Gazhane.

  Continuing on November 5 at Muze Gazhane in Kadıköy, the festival featured the versatile artist Özge Ürer, followed by Ruken Yılmaz, who interprets traditional Kurdish music with her unique style. The event concluded with the songs of Duygu Soylu, a jazz, funk, R&B, and pop musician, pianist, and composer.

  The festival program included pop-up concerts, stand-up shows, discussions, and on November 9, a concert at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall where Feryal Öney and Jülide Özçelik performed alongside the Benim Şehrim Benim Sesim (My City My Voice) orchestra, a development project by Beats By Girlz Turkey.


  Click on photograph to see a larger view.

★ A new exhibition to honor Dr. Adnan Büyükdeniz, the founder of Yıldız Holding, is on at the company's headquarters in Çamlıca, Istanbul.

  The exhibition "The Colors of the Earth, Honoring Adnan Büyükdeniz" features 51 photographs that he took in 40 countries.

  The free exhibition is on until November 25.

  Yıldız Holding is a Turkish conglomerate best known for manufacturing food products. The company also produces other consumer goods and has retail, private equity, and real estate operations.

  Among its subsidiaries is the Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva, headquartered in Midtown Manhattan.


  Kültepe-Kanes upper town, southwest corner of the palace on the citadel

  See a larger view and read more >> here <<

★ Recently, excavations conducted ten years ago at the archaeological site of 6000-year-old Kültepe revealed one more find.

  Analyzing the debris from a home, scientists found that 4000 years ago, Assyrians living there consumed hazelnuts. They then extracted DNA from the hazelnut shells.

  Initially, scientists thought that the hazelnut was of European origin. The DNA revealed that it was local.

  Read the details of the fascinating story >> here <<

★ Cut stone blocks with the famous double-headed eagle symbol, also known as the Seljuk Eagle, double bird, and tree of life symbols, were discovered from under the fallen plaster of a historical building in Haşim İşcan District, one of the oldest residential areas of Antalya, and appeared to belong to a historical building.

  Experts think that they belong to the period of Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad.

★ During excavations at Zerzevan Fortress in the Çınar district of Diyarbakır, archeologists located the location of the monumental main entrance gate of the 1900-year-old underground temple of the Mithras religion.

  Excavations also revealed the monumental main entrance gate of the Temple of Mithras and building ruins under the temple.

  Dr. Aytaç Coşkun, head of the excavation, stated that the fortress is three thousand years old, and they have completed the 9th season of archaeological excavation and restoration work.

★ Crews found ancient building ruins during a construction in Samsun.

  The archaeological rescue excavations by the local museum's archaeologists revealed ruins thought to belong to the Hellenistic, Roman, and Eastern Roman periods.

  The most important part of the ruins is the infrastructure system and water channel. Archeologists think ancient used the area, where coins, ceramic pieces, roof tiles, graves, and architectural remains were, as a residential area.

★ The 2,000-year-old salt facility, discovered 18 years ago at Iztuzu Beach in Muğla's Ortaca district, came to light again after the water receded. The archaeological team at the Kaunos Ancient City found that the ancient salt production system was still working. Salt formations in the salt pans in the facility showed that the facility had not lost its function until today.

★ Archaeologists found 1500-year-old church ruins and 46 graves in the Kulp district of Diyarbakır.

  In addition, over the past years, they have found artifacts such as coins, oil lamps, columns, and bases in the area.

  Stating that the church is one of the oldest Byzantine churches in Diyarbakır, even though it is damaged, Diyarbakır Museum Deputy Director Müjdat Zengingöl explained that they are also working on rock tombs and a quarry in the excavation site, apart from the church.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 28.55


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 70/59 Thunderstorms
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 75/68 Rainy
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 59/32 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 66/59 Rainy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 75/61 Rainy
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 86/63 Partly Cloudy



Premier League

* Results for week: 11
G. Saray        -      Kasımpaşa         2 - 1
Samsun          -      Hatay             2 - 1
Fenerbahçe      -      Trabzon           2 - 3
Istanbul        -      Pendik            2 - 4
Konya           -      K.gümrük          1 - 1
Başakşehir      -      Ankaragücü        3 - 3
Sivas           -      Adana             1 - 1
Antalya         -      Beşiktaş          3 - 2
Kayseri         -      Alanya        1 - 0
G. Antep        -      Rize              2 - 0

* In games played so far this weekend:
Ankaragücü      -      Antalya        0 - 4
Trabzon         -      Konya          2 - 1
Kasımpaşa       -      Kayseri        3 - 4
K.gümrük        -      Sivas          3 - 0
Alanya          -      G. Antep       0 - 3
Hatay           -      G. Saray       2 - 1
Adana           -      Fenerbahçe     -
Pendik          -      Samsun         -
Beşiktaş        -      Başakşehir     -
Rize            -      Istanbul       -

* Standing in the league as of week ending 11
 1 - G. Saray        31
 2 - Fenerbahçe      30
 3 - Adana           21
 4 - Trabzon         19
 5 - Beşiktaş        19
 6 - Kayseri         19
 7 - Kasımpaşa       18
 8 - Antalya         15
 9 - Hatay           14
10 - Sivas           14
11 - Rize            14
12 - Ankaragücü      13
13 - G. Antep        12
14 - K.gümrük        11
15 - Alanya          10
16 - Konya           10
17 - Pendik          10
18 - Başakşehir       9
19 - Samsun           8
19 - Istanbul         5


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


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