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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 20 January 2024

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 20 January 2024]

Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M.

on KXSF:  kxsf.fm/ or FM 102.5 in San Francisco

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Ahmet Toprak is the editor-in-chief. Your broadcast host is Ahmet Toprak.

[Uzun İnternet adreslerini radyoda okumayın, şu duyuruyu yapın:
"Look at the news section of our website for more details. www.Turkradio.us".]


★ According to Deutsche Welle, German lawmakers have endorsed a new path to citizenship, allowing more people to gain dual nationality. A representative of Germany's Turkish community warns that officials might struggle to process all the applicants. He expected 50,000 people with Turkish roots to make naturalization applications in the coming years following the citizenship law reform.

  Deutsche Welle writes that the first wave of Turkish migration to Germany was in the 1960s when German companies recruited workers from foreign countries to help with its post-war reconstruction.

  Deutsche Welle adds that about three million people of Turkish heritage live in Germany, which has a population of around 83.3 million. Out of 3 million Turkish people in Germany, nearly 1.5 million still have Turkish citizenship.

  Read the details >> here <<

★ An Ankara court sentenced Mansur Çelik, editor-in-chief of Turkey's ANKA News Agency, to six months in prison for an article titled "Prominent Judge Making Waves in Turkey's Agenda."

  The article covered Justice Ministry Deputy Akın Gürlek's failure to implement the Constitutional Court decision regarding the main opposition Republican People's Party İstanbul Deputy Enis Berberoğlu during his tenure as the presiding judge of İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court.

  Turkish voters elected Berberoğlu to the parliament in 2024. In May 2016, the Justice and Development Party parliamentarians voted to suspend his immunity to allow for prosecution. On June 14, 2017, an Istanbul tribunal condemned him to 25 years in prison for having divulged 2024 pictures of the Turkish Secret Service, seeming to show the delivery of weapons to Syrian rebels, in open contradiction to the denial by the government of being actively involved in the Syrian conflict.

  On June 24, 2018, he was re-elected to the parliament and released from prison on September 20, 2018. The ruling Justice and Development party and its coalition partner voted to revoke his Parliamentary Membership on June 4, 2020, and he was arrested but released on June 5 due to COVID-19 regulations. A court restored his parliamentary membership on February 11, 2021.

★ According to Reuters, Turkey's first astronaut and three other crew members representing Europe were launched from Florida on Thursday on a voyage to the International Space Station in the latest commercially arranged mission from Texas startup Axiom Space.

  The cost of the flight is $55 million per astronaut. Some in Turkey criticized this as very expensive in light of the deep economic crisis in Turkey.

  Some in Turkey criticized spending $55 million in light of the deep economic crisis in Turkey.

  See a photograph of the takeoff and read the details >> here <<

★ Dr. Fahrettin Koca, Turkish Minister of Health, said hospital occupancy rates increased slightly compared to last year.

  Occupancy of regular beds is around 65% and 72% at intensive care units, he added.

  Dr. Koca also discussed the recent increase of around 20% in respiratory infections and mentioned that the most common ones are COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

  He said the increase is similar to other countries where winter months bring more infections. He added that people at risk should get vaccinated.

  However, the Turkish Doctors Association said that January deaths in Istanbul from infections surpassed the peak 2021 pandemic numbers.

  Güçlü Yaman of the Pandemic Working Group of the association said the trajectory this year was too severe to dismiss as a seasonal trend. Read the details >> here <<

★ According to Bianet, there are currently 52,000 ATMs in Turkey that consume more than 230 million kW-hours of electricity, more than the electricity consumed in the cities of Ardahan, Bayburt, Iğdır, and Dersim.

  A recent study published by the Ekosfer Association highlights that Turkey could save a significant amount of electricity by transitioning to shared and commission-free ATMs.

  Özgür Gürbüz, the Campaigns Director of the Ekosfer Association, said that financial institutions authorize cash withdrawal at supermarkets and stores.

★ Turkey's United Metal Workers Union announced on January 17 that negotiations with the Union of Metal Industrialists of Turkey resulted in an agreement.

  The agreement calls for a 98% wage increase and a 30% increase after six months. If the inflation rate is more than 30% within six months, the increase will be the same as the inflation rate.

★ According to the daily Duvar, Turkey's Agriculture Ministry plans to require alcohol producers to deposit $170,000 to $1.7 million in local currency as collateral to cover tax or administrative fines they may face.

  Small producers have stated that the new deposit scheme would make them vanish against the big producers.

  Duvar adds that under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party for 21 years, alcoholic drink makers in Turkey have faced an increasingly onerous tax burden and other restrictions, leaving the multi-billion dollar market stagnant.
See a larger version of the image and read the details >> here <<

★ Addressing the 81 provincial governors of Turkey, Turkish treasury and finance minister Mehmet Şimşek asked them to spend less and suggested that they switch their official cars to the domestically produced TOGG electric cars, reports the daily Duvar.

  Mr. Şimşek said he used every page in his notebooks and refrained from wasting high-quality paper to save money. He added, "The money you spend is not your father's. It belongs to the people of Turkey."

  He estimated Turkey would be in a $90 billion budget deficit should all government departments stick to their budgets and reiterated the importance of spending less than the allocated amounts.



  See a larger version of the image and read the details >> here <<

★ Turkish actors gathered in Istanbul to protest the broadcast suspension and fine given to the popular TV serial "Crimson Buds," which focuses on Islamic cults.

  RTÜK, the Turkish media watchdog, imposed a two-episode ban and a fine of $299,000 in local currency on the series. The watchdog claimed that the serial violated the national and moral values of the society.

  In the protest, renowned actress Ece Dizdar, a board member of the Union of Actors, stated, "The existence of all creative fields is threatened, and a climate of fear is tried to be created through censorship, which we encounter with methods such as punishment, investigation, threatening, intimidation, humiliation, physical and verbal attacks, criminalization, and marginalization."


★ The books "Balıkesir, the City with 50 Cheeses," "Land of Olives Balıkesir," and "Bread City Balıkesir" by Turkish authors Berrin Bal Onur and Neşe Aksoy Biber brought four international awards. The Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality supported the authors.

  Balıkesir is a province in northwestern Turkey with coastlines on the Marmara and Aegean seas.

  The authors won the World's Prize at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2019. The book "Balıkesir, the City with 50 Cheeses," chosen as the Best Cheese Book, was among the best books of the last 25 years at the 2023 Gourmand Awards. The jury chose "Bread City Balıkesir" as the World's best bread book, and "Olive Country Balıkesir" as the world's second-best book in its category.

  Two weeks ago, there was an event in Istanbul's Divan Kuruçeşme Hotel to introduce the award-winning trilogy on the cheese, olive, and bread culture of Balıkesir.

  At the event, Mayor Yücel Yılmaz and writers Berrin Bal Onur and Neşe Aksoy Biber shared with the guests comprehensive information about the diversity and preservation of local delicacies of Balıkesir. They explained how the microeconomy formed with gastronomic values will reach a level that will contribute to the economy and the rich culinary culture.

★ According to online Turkish news outlet Bianet, The İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts has announced that the 18th İstanbul Biennial, initially planned to meet the audience from September 14 to November 17, 2024, will be in 2025 with a new preparation process.

  Bianet writes that rescheduling is due to a controversy involving censorship.

★ Istanbul's Ferry Lines celebrates its 173rd anniversary with a nostalgic short film titled "The Sound of İstanbul" and a photo exhibition titled "From Şirket-i Hayriye to İstanbul Ferry Lines: A 173-Year Sea Journey," featuring selections from the archive of Ali Bozoğlu, the director of the Maritime Corporation of Turkey History and Art Center.

  In "The Sound of İstanbul," the transformation of the ferry lines from the 1950s to the present is narrated through the eyes of passengers. The film offers glimpses ranging from the old İstanbul scenery to present-day ferry journeys and is shared with viewers on social media.

  The exhibition features photographs from the establishment of Şirket-i Hayriye on January 17, 1851, to ferry lines of the present, reflecting the increased demand for transportation between İstanbul and the Bosphorus in the mid-19th century.

★ The deep-rooted friendship and cooperation between Hungary and Turkey began in 1923 after the signing of a treaty. Turkey and Hungary declared 2024 as the Hungarian and Turkish culture year.

  As part of the culture year, events organized with the theme of "One Hundred Years of Friendship and Cooperation," Pannon Philharmonic, one of Hungary's renowned orchestras, will come to Istanbul from the city of Pécs to give a concert.

  The concert will feature Turkish composer Ahmet Adnan Saygun's Fifth Symphony and works by Hungarian composers Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók. Mezzo-soprano Atala Schöck will be on the stage. Schöck's great uncle Dr. László Rásonyi was the dean of the Hungarology department of Ankara University, and he invited Bartok to Turkey.

  Saygun was a good friend of Bartok. In 1936, when Bartok traveled through rural Turkey to document Turkish folk music, Saygun accompanied him.

  One of the places he visited was the southern Turkish city of Osmaniye. Now, Osmaniye features a Bartok museum.

  On the same day as the concert, an exhibition titled "Hungarians in Rebuilding Turkey" will start. The organizers are the Hungarian National Museum and the Liszt Institute Hungarian Culture Center in Istanbul. It will be on through February 4.

  Pannon Philharmonic will have one more concert to commemorate Hungarian Culture Day, celebrated on January 22, in the Turkish capital Ankara's Presidential Symphony Orchestra Ada Hall. In the hall foyer, there will be an exhibition of Hungarian glass artists.

★ Cem Yılmaz, the renowned Turkish standup comic, announced his new show titled 2024 – written in Roman numerals – last week.

  The show will start on February 7 at the Zorlu PSM.

★ The Peninsula Istanbul Hotel announced that every Friday and Saturday evening, it will have an event titled "The Lobby Jazz Nights" featuring renowned musicians.

  On January 19, Ceren Temel Quartet was at the Lobby Jazz Nights.

  Here is the rest of the schedule:

  See a larger version of the image and read the details >> here <<

★ Turkish Telekom, in cooperation with Istanbul State Theatre, launched the "Accessible Theatre" project to increase the participation of visually and hearing impaired individuals in cultural and artistic events.

  Within the scope of the Accessible Theater project, Türk Telekom, by implementing surtitles and live description applications in the State Theater plays at the Atatürk Cultural Center, aims to offer an experience that overcomes visual, auditory, and physical barriers.

  In addition, a special stage tour before the play will offer visually impaired art lovers a holistic theater experience by allowing them to identify the decor, costumes, and objects used in the play by touch.

  The project will also enable blind and deaf people to find their way within the building with the app "Audible Steps."

  On January 6, the project also had a play for the visually and hearing impaired individuals titled "Nickname Rosebud."

★ Turkey's Friends of Olives association announced that the 17th National Natural Cold-pressed Olive Oil competition application deadline was January 20, 2024.

  The competition aims to increase awareness of olive oil quality and promote the names of companies that produce flawless natural extra virgin products.

★ According to ArtNet News, WMF, the World Monuments Fund, an independent nonprofit dedicated to preserving cultural heritage, has announced the lineup for its 2024 projects. Efforts this year include responses to last year's devastating earthquakes in Turkey and repairing damage in Ukraine amid Russia's ongoing war.

  Buse Ceren Gül, an architect based in Antakya working on WMF's recovery efforts there, said in an email to Artnet News that "nothing remains" in the city of Antakya, where a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck and killed nearly 60,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

  The WMF has identified two buildings in Antakya, historically known as Antioch, to provide aid: the Antioch Greek Orthodox Church (also known as the Church of St. Paul) and the Antioch Synagogue.

  WMF's work at the Antakya earthquake heritage sites has been made possible, in part, by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the U.S. Mission to Turkey.

  >> here <<

  See a larger view of the photograph and read the details >> here <<

★ According to online Turkish news outlet Bianet, Istanbul's 1500-year-old Hagia Sophia now costs €25 for foreign visitors. After being re-converted into a mosque in June 2020, it was free.

  The tourists will enter Hagia Sophia through a separate door with an industrial roll-up door, many calling it inappropriate. Turkish authorities said that the door was temporary. See the door here >> here <<

  Hagia Sophia, built by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I, started life as a church. When Ottomans conquered the Byzantine capital Constantinople in 1453, they converted it into a mosque. After the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, it continued to function as a mosque until 1935, when Turkish authorities converted it into a museum.

EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 30.21


★ According to the Associated Press, on Monday, Turkish authorities charged Sagiv Jehezkel, an Israeli soccer player playing for the Turkish team Antalyaspor, with inciting hatred when he lifted his left hand that had on a bandage the words "100 days 7. 10," referring to October 7 when Hamas militants infiltrated Israel and took hostages.

  The Israeli player says he was calling for an end to the war.

Premier League

* Results for week: 20
Rize            -      Adana             1 - 0
Ankaragücü      -      Kasımpaşa         3 - 1
Başakşehir      -      Alanya            3 - 2
Beşiktaş        -      K.gümrük          3 - 0
Hatay           -      Pendik            1 - 1
Samsun          -      Sivas             2 - 0
Istanbul        -      Konya             0 - 0
G. Antep        -      Fenerbahçe        0 - 1
Antalya         -      Trabzon           1 - 1
G. Saray        -      Kayseri           2 - 1
* In games played so far this weekend:
Kasımpaşa       -      Hatay          3 - 0
Pendik          -      Beşiktaş       4 - 0
Adana           -      Ankaragücü     1 - 1
Alanya      	-      Rize           2 - 1
K.gümrük        -      Başakşehir     1 - 1
* Standing in the league as of week ending 20
 1 - Fenerbahçe      53
 2 - G. Saray        51
 3 - Trabzon         37
 4 - Beşiktaş        35
 5 - Rize            32
 6 - Adana           29
 7 - Antalya         29
 8 - Kayseri         29
 9 - Başakşehir      26
10 - Kasımpaşa       26
11 - Sivas           25
12 - Ankaragücü      24
13 - Alanya          22
14 - Hatay           21
15 - Samsun          21
16 - G. Antep        21
17 - K.gümrük        20
18 - Konya           19
19 - Pendik          16
19 - Istanbul         7


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


*** Turkish American Association of California

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if you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
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*** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California

Organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list by sending an email to:



Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
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Our online school is starting in September. There are some innovations in our new term program, which we will start in September 2022.

We have prepared more enjoyable posts with your happy feedbacks from you.

 > By the principles of language learning; listening, speaking, reading, writing activities
 > Kitchen Workshop
 > Anatolian Civilizations
 > Interactive Games
 > Periodic Projects
 > Skill Workshops
 > Our Holidays
 > Bodily Activities
 > Traditional Music
 > About This Day

*** Turkish Folk Dancing with TUFOD in the South Bay

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*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
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