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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 09 December 2023

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 09 December 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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"Look at the news section of our website for more details. www.Turkradio.us".]


★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, on December 8, Devlet Bahçeli, Turkey's ultra-nationalist government ally Nationalist Action Party leader, said that his party would vote for Sweden's NATO membership in the Parliament depending on NATO taking steps about the Palestine conflict. Among the steps Bahçeli listed are   Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the protocol on NATO membership for Sweden and sent it to the Parliament for a vote the previous month after keeping Sweden in suspense since 2022.

  Since Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party has 263 parliamentary seats out of 600, the ratification of Sweden's NATO bid will require the support of other ruling coalition parties to reach the majority in case the opposition votes against it.

★ According to VOA, on December 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the Greek capital of Athens, his first visit since 2017, and he met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

  The two reached agreements focusing on pursuing good neighborly relations, opening communication, lessening tension through military confidence-building, increasing trade, and working to resolve issues in the Aegean Sea, where the two countries share a border.

  Erdoğan said he aimed to nearly double bilateral trade volume to $10 billion from the current $5.5 billion. According to the daily Duvar, the Turkish president said after the meeting, "There is no issue between us that is unsolvable, so long as we focus on the big picture and don't end up being like those who cross the sea and drown in the river," "We want to turn the Aegean into a sea of peace. Through the joint steps we will take as Turkey and Greece, we want to be an example to the world," he added.

  Mitsotakis said while relations had been "dangerously threatened" in past years, it was now on a "calmer path." According to Deutsche Welle, Greece and Turkey have long been regional rivals, but ties have recently become closer after Greece sent rescuers and aid to Turkey following a February earthquake that killed at least 50,000 people there.

★ On December 6, Turkish police handed over singer Amirhossein Maghsoudloo, professionally known as Tataloo, meaning "tattooed," to Iranian authorities at the Bazargan border crossing, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting news agency reported Wednesday.

  Iranian authorities could convict him in Iran of "corruption on Earth," a judgment that comes with the death penalty.

  Tataloo has a large fan base in Iran.

★ An Izmir court on December 6 acquitted the 24 women tried for "insulting the Turkish government" and defying the Law on Protests and Public Meetings as they took part in the 2019 "Las Tesis" protests in Turkey's Aegean Izmir Province.

  The so-called Las Tesis protests originated in Chile in 2019, where feminists sang a song that accused the government alongside the patriarchy of remaining ineffective in the face of violence against women.

★ On December 6, the European Parliament's Turkey Rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor visited imprisoned businessperson and philanthropist Osman Kavala at the prison in Silivri, Istanbul.

  The European Parliament had previously "seriously condemned" the court ruling for Kavala's life imprisonment and asked for Kavala to be released immediately.

  The ruling Justice and Development Party administration has kept Kavala in jail for over six years with a trumped-up charge of organizing the protests in 2013 to overthrow the government.

  Nacho Sanchez Amor has been paying a visit to Turkey.

  In Istanbul he met with Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu. He also traveled to the Turkish capital and met with the Turkish minister of justice and leaders of political parties.

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to the government-run Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey's annual inflation peaked, reaching 62 percent in November.

  However, the independent inflation group ENAG put the figure at 129 percent.

★ Türk-İş trade union, representing workers in the minimum wage negotiations for 2024, announced that they want it to be 14,025 liras or $484, the hunger threshold.

★ 800,000 fewer candidates chose universities in Istanbul in 2023 compared to 2022, according to the Council of Higher Education.

  The 26% decrease reflects the students' desire to avoid the high cost of living in Istanbul.

★ Official data reveals that approximately 2.2 million people left Istanbul in the five years between 2018 and 2022.

  The increasing cost of living pushed many to return to their hometowns, while the city center primarily became a residence for wealthy foreigners.

★ According to Bloomberg, Turkey's trade deficit narrows as imports fall on weak demand. Turkey's main export market is Europe, and despite the weakness in European economy, Turkihs exports are doing well.

★ Arab News wrote that the Turkish economy is on course to correct past mistakes.

★ According to Deutsche Welle, rampant inflation and economic uncertainty have pushed many companies in Turkey to relocate to Egypt, which offers far lower labor costs--$500/mo in Turkey vs. $150 in Egypt-- and better access to international markets. Also, in April, Egypt removed the need for Turkish citizens to acquire a visa before entering the country.

  Among the Turkish companies setting up operations in Egypt are major ones such as Arçelik, Şişecam, Temsa, and Yıldız Holding.

  Temsa makes buses and vans in Egypt and exports them to the rest of the world.

  Yeşim Textil, in turn, operates apparel factories in Cairo, Alexandria, and Ismailia, supplying its goods to many world-famous sports brands.

  Electrical giant Arçelik, known in Europe for its Beko brand, recently invested $100 million in a new Egyptian factory slated to begin operating by the end of the year.

  So far, Turkish investments in Egypt this year have totaled $2.5 billion, which could grow to $3 billion by the end of 2023.

  Seventy thousand people in Egypt already work for Turkish companies, not counting those employed by suppliers. Turkish factories produce a third of all textiles and clothes in Egypt.


★ Art lovers will be able to attend the events that will take place on the 2nd floor of Tokatlıyan Han between December 13-20, 2023. They will encounter an event involving different disciplines such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video art, performance, and music.

  Vomank ensemble and many musicians will perform during the exhibition.

  In memory of Kazım Koyuncu, whose loss caused deep sadness in 2005, They will show a documentary throughout the exhibition, and his companions will contribute with music performances.

  In addition, writers and scholars from arts and social sciences will be in the event program with discussions and talks.


  Ahmet Arif Merey, Ali Ekber Kul, Aramis Kalay, Ari Hergel, Ataman Oğuz, Aylin Pakova Çil, Belgin Şahin, Beyza Gökay, Çiğdem Şimşek, Demet Yalçınkaya, Eda Yiğit, Erkan Canan, Gülhan, Gülüzar Artuç, İlyas Ceran, Joel Menemşe, Lara Narin, Masis Kürkçügil, Nihal Mavigök Sungur, Orçun Beslen, Özge Akdeniz, Raffi Etyemez, Resul Aytemür, Rupen Melkisetoğlu, Saro Usta, Sayat Arslan, Semra Çelik, Serap İskender, Sibel Tarhan Kasapoğlu, Sinan Akcan, Sonat Çavuşoğlu, Songül Canerik, Süreyya Su, Tayis Mutlu, Vasıf Pehlivanoğlu

★ According to the Turkish daily Dünya, a new documentary on the story of Turkish scientist Türkan Saylan is out. The documentary highlights Türkan Saylan's groundbreaking work in science and her fight against leprosy. This film, prepared by the Association for the Support of Contemporary Living and Journalist-Writer Özlem Özdemir and directed by Atilla Alicikoğlu, aims to be a source of inspiration, especially for girls.

  The documentary's first screening is on December 13, Saylan's birthday, at the Maltepe Türkan Saylan Cultural Center.

  Türkan Saylan (1935 – 2009) was a Turkish medical doctor in dermatology, academic, writer, teacher and social activist.

  She was famous for fighting leprosy. She also established "The Association for the Support for Contemporary Living," a charitable foundation that helps girls across Turkey obtain an education, ultimately promoting gender equality.

  The Association also promotes the early 20th-century modernizing reforms of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president and Turkish independence war hero.

★ According to Vogue, Mica Ertegün, wife of Ahmet Ertegün, a prominent Turkish-American co-founder of Atlantic Records, passed away at age 97.

  Mica Ertegün founded the interior design firm Mac II along with Chessy Rayner in 1967 and quickly became the favorite decorator of New York fashion sets due to her impeccable taste and impressive network.

★ Twenty short films and ten documentaries will compete at the 11th edition of the Boğaziçi Film Festival with the global communication partnership of Anatolia News Agency.

  The short films and documentaries from directors of different nationalities will compete at the festival.

  The festival started on December 8 and will end on December 16. The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Turkcell, and Turkish Airlines are the sponsors.

★ The third exhibition of the Istanbul Photo Awards 2023, an international news photography contest, will open in London on December 5.

  Yunus Emre Institute in London will welcome the selection of works of 29 award-winning photographers in the contest organized by Anatolia News Agency until December 15.

  The exhibition will additionally feature photographs of Palestine from the previous editions. Visitors will explore works documenting global matters, from the war in Ukraine to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

  This year, the contest delivered awards across ten categories after the jury made its selection among 21,000 photo submissions.

  The coveted "Photo of the Year" award went to Sergey Kozlov, a photographer from the European Pressphoto Agency, for his work titled Ukraine-Russia War.

  For more information about the competition and to view the winning photos, please visit >> here <<.

  Applications for the 10th year of the İstanbul Photo Awards, where the photos that define the world agenda compete, have opened.

★ Turkey has been elected as a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the Turkish culture and tourism minister said last month.

  During its 4-year membership, Turkey will have a say in the decision-making process for the World Heritage list at the meetings of the World Heritage Committee.

  Previously, Turkey was on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee from 1983 to 1989 and 2013 to 2017.

  The Committee is responsible for implementing the World Heritage Convention, defining the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocating financial assistance to countries upon request. It has the final say on whether to include a property on the World Heritage List.

  It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties, asks countries to take action when they do not manage them properly and decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the list of World Heritage in danger.

★ Turkey became the second country to register the most items to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List with the latest additions.

  With 43 elements, China has the most on the list, and Turkey has 30.

★ For the eighth year in a row, the Italian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, held a special week of events last month to promote Italian cuisine.

  The theme of this year was "At the Table with Italian Cuisine: Well-being with Taste."

  Giorgio Marrapodi, Italian ambassador to Ankara, introduced the book "VIP: Very Important Peperoncino" by Francesco Maria Spano at the Venetian Palace in Istanbul.

  "Italian cuisine represents one of the main business cards of our country. The theme of this year emphasizes the importance of the Mediterranean diet, of which pepper is a key element, as a healthy lifestyle and a balanced nutrition model accessible to everyone," Marrapodi said.

  The meeting was also on the MeeTurkItaly event calendar supported by the embassy, which brings together prominent figures from the social, cultural, and business industries to accelerate bilateral relations and pave the way for innovation.

  Başkent University in Ankara hosted a workshop where lecturers and students assisted in discovering the traditional flavors of Italian cuisine.
See a laeger version of the photograph and other >> here <<

★ Archaeologists have discovered a large mosaic floor in the İncesu district of Kayseri, Turkey. The mosaic is 6,400 square feet and is the largest in central Anatolia. The mosaic contains Greek and Latin inscriptions.

  The archaeologists discovered the mosaic at the archaeological site of İncesu, located in the center of Turkey. The site was once the late Roman and early Byzantine town of Sadogora.

  The work is the largest floor mosaic ever uncovered in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey in a villa with 33 rooms.

  In 2010, archaeologists excavating a site in the Turkish city of Kayseri uncovered remnants of a late Roman and early Byzantine residence, laid with an ornate mosaic floor. It was a remarkable discovery that promised more revelations with further excavations.

  Unfortunately, archeologists put the excavation work due to legal reasons, and it remained stagnant for the better part of a decade. It was not until 2020 that archaeologists could resume their work, and the ongoing excavations revealed a site of truly epic proportions.

  The research, conducted by a team from Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University, has, in the past three years, uncovered a vast villa comprised of around 33 rooms and over 6,400 square feet of floor mosaics, indicating that this had once been a "high-level residence."

  "In the Central Anatolia Region, which includes the Cappadocia region, we do not see such a large residence with floor mosaics," Can Erpek, director of the excavation, told Artnet. "We have not yet fully reached the boundaries of this residence."


★ Turkey was elected to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee for 2023–2027. The election was at the 24th Session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention in Paris.

  Turkey has 21 World Heritage Sites, including 19 cultural and two mixed sites. Some of the World Heritage Sites in Turkey include:


  A site must meet one or more of the ten World Heritage Committee selection criteria, be on a State Party's Tentative List, and have a nomination.


  Read more details and see a larger version of the photo

>> here <<

★ Researchers may soon be able to identify the location of Noah's Ark, a group of archaeologists have suggested as they unearthed geological formations in Turkey that resemble a colossal ship.

  Additionally, researchers have uncovered rock and soil samples dating back to 5500-3000 BC, coinciding with the biblical flood account believed to contain remnants of the biblical vessel.

  The site is on Mount Ararat, Turkey, the highest Turkish mountain two miles from the Iranian border.

  The newly established Mount Ararat and Noah's Ark Research Team made its first expedition there in December 2022.

  Researchers named the site after Turkish Army Captain İlhan Durupınar, who spotted the site in 1951 during a NATO mapping mission.


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

★ Archeologists unearthed a Dancing Muses statue, an iconic figure from ancient mythology, that was underground for nearly 2,175 years.

  Archeologists found the statue in ancient Stratonikeia city in the Eskihisar village of the Yatağan district of Turkey's Muğla Province.

  Known as the city of eternal loves and gladiators, it is one of the cities of the Ancient Caria Region. With an area of 7 sq. km., it is one of the largest marble-built cities and the only city-state with two major sanctuaries dedicated to Hecate and Zeus.

  According to Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the statue is the only original Hellenistic period piece attributed to a work famously replicated during the Roman period.

  Historically, the "Dancing Muses," considered one of the muses born from the union of Zeus and Mnemosyne, was reputedly crafted by Philiskos, a renowned sculptor from the second century BCE.

  There are numerous Roman-era reproductions of this piece throughout Anatolia and Greece. The newly discovered statue from Stratonikeia stands out as the only authentic work by Philiskos from the Hellenistic era.

  Information about Philiskos, the renowned sculptor from the Hellenistic Period, is quite scarce. Known for his work in bronze sculpture, particularly in creating statues and sculptures of athletes and gods, he was active during the 4th century BCE. He hailed from Rhodes, a center for artistic innovation.


Click on photograph to read the details and see a larger view of the image.

★ The replica of the Viking sailboat Saga Farmann, discovered in archaeological excavations and dating back to the 10th century CE, will spend the winter in Istanbul's Golden Horn.

  The sailboat arrived in Istanbul After a 13-week journey with a crew of 12 people.

  Saga Farmann will first be on exhibition for three months at the Rahmi M. Koç Museum and then set sail to complete the historic trade route of the Vikings across the Mediterranean, reaching Norway.

  Handmade from wood and wrought iron, following the ancient techniques, Saga Farmann will undergo weekly checks by a special team at the Golden Horn Shipyard until April.

  The sailboat will travel through the Marmara Sea and the Dardanelles Strait to Greece, the Adriatic Sea, Italy, Tunisia, France, and the coastal cities of Spain, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and reaching its final destination, Tonsberg, Norway.

  Lars Bill, the project manager and captain of the Saga Farmann sailboat, said that the ship came following the commercial route of the Vikings to Istanbul centuries ago.

  He said the people of Istanbul warmly welcomed them. The Viking fans of Turkey visited Saga Farmann wherever they anchored.

  "Vikings used to come to Miklagard [the name Vikings used for Istanbul, meaning the great city] very often for trade. We share a common history," he said.


Click on photograph to read the details and see a larger view of the image.

★ During the ongoing excavations in the Hasankeyf mound in Batman in Southeastern Turkey, one of the oldest settlements in the world, an 800-year-old bronze healing bowl and two archery rings made of agate and bone used by archers surfaced.

  In the fifth year of the excavations under the leadership of Zekai Erdal, associate professor in the Art History Department of Mardin Artuklu University, the archeologists also discovered other rare artifacts.

  Dr. Zekai Erdal stated that there are only 22 other healing bowls in the world, reaching 23 with Hasankeyf. The People used it in folk medicine in the medieval Islamic world.

  People believed that the bowl, with engravings of a double-headed dragon, dog, snake, and scorpion motifs, protected a person who drank water from it from dog, snake, and scorpion bites.

  They also used the healing bowl to treat people with the same bites.

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






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


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