Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Have you read our Istanbul correspondent's recent book? Click here for more. Lisa also has a new audio tour guide for Kadıköy Click here for more.


x0x Turkish News for the week ending 10 February 2024

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 10 February 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

You can also listen to us online:

DONATE to San Francisco Community Radio! Click >> HERE <<

Also tune to KKUP FM 91.5, Cupertino to hear the
ORIENT EXPRESS every Tuesday at 10 P.M.

Audio archives of our radio broadcasts are here: Arhives.org

Our website is at: www.TurkRadio.us

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

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


★ Last week, many Turks were shocked to hear their president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying in a local elections campaign speech that to get earthquake aid to a location, the central and the local governments should work hand-in-hand in solidarity. "Just like what happened in Hatay province," he said.

  They considered this a veiled threat that if the community elected a city council and a mayor from an opposition party, the central government would not help them.

  Analysts say this has been already happening over the past several years. The Erdoğan administration has been doing everything to block the opposition mayors, especially in large urban areas such as Istanbul, from delivering services to the population.

  In Istanbul, where Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party holds the majority in the city council, they constantly block the mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu from the opposition Republican People's Party.

  After he was elected mayor in 2019, the central government also confiscated funds that the İmamoğlu administration raised independently.

  Turkish daily Sözcü writes, "the threat to the people to vote for them or otherwise" will have a legal basis. New legislation dictates that without approval by the central government, municipalities, and their subsidiary corporations won't be able to borrow funds.

  Sözcü writes that this is to make the municipalities held by the opposition look bad in the eyes of the voters.

★ According to the Turkish daily Duvar, both the main opposition Republican People's Party and the ruling Justice and Development Party are vying for control swing metropolitan municipalities as the race for the April local elections intensifies.

  In the upcoming elections, the ruling Justice and Development Party is exerting considerable effort to secure victories in Antalya, Hatay, Eskişehir, and Adana, currently held by the main opposition Republican People's Party.

  In the meantime, the Republican People's Party is determined to win Bursa, Balıkesir, and Manisa from the Justice and Development Party.

  However, the race for Istanbul, Turkey's most populous and wealthiest urban area, is the main focus of the local elections. Without support from the other opposition parties this election, analysts say Republican People's Party candidate and Ekrem İmamoğlu, current metropolitan mayor, may have difficulty getting elected.

  Read the detailed report >> here <<

★ According to VOA, on February 6, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the U.N.'s top envoy in Iraq, urged all attacks to cease, warning that they could undo the country's "hard-won stability" and other accomplishments if they continue.

  She warned that Iraq and the wider region "remain on a knife-edge," and a minute miscalculation could threaten "a major conflagration."

  Among attacks, she cited the Iranian missile strike on the Kurdish capital Erbil, and Turkish military operations in the north.

  In the meantime, Iraq's acting envoy, Abbas al-Fatlawi, denounced attacks by Turkey, Iran, and the United States, saying they had caused civilian casualties and damaged private and public property.


  Read the details >> here <<

★ There is a new party in Germany, wooing the voters with Turkish roots, Deutsche Welle wrote.

  Fighting Islamophobia and strengthening "traditional values" are core issues in the election program with which DAVA, Democratic Alliance for Diversity and Wakening, reaches out to Muslim migrants in Germany.

  Currently a voters Association, DAVA wants to run in the European elections on June 9. Some political observers in Germany claim that the new party is no more than a mouthpiece for the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

★ Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that there were violations of rights for 500 Internet censorship cases.

  It noted that the access restriction decisions of Peace Criminal Judgeships systematically violate freedom of expression, and the appeal mechanisms are ineffective.

  Additionally, the Constitutional Court pointed out that despite the decision urging the Turkish Parliament to make new legislative arrangements, the Parliament did not comply.

  The court also ruled the payment of monetary compensation to the applicants for non-pecuniary damages cannot remedy the violations.

★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party administration put pressure on the judiciary in Turkey, analysts observe. Some of the judgments in the courts, when overturned by the Constitutional Court of Turkey, judges, under pressure, stick to their original decisions. And some higher courts, such as the Court of Cassation, openly oppose the decisions of the Constitutional Court.

  On February 8, in a swearing-in ceremony for Yılmaz Akçil, a new member of the Constitutional Court, Zühtü Arslan, the court President, criticized the non-implementation of the top court's judgments. He said the court's decisions are binding even when not desirable.

  Analysts think the court will favor the Justice and Development party's favored decisions this year since President Erdoğan will appoint two new members for judges whose terms will end.

★ Once a fierce critique of Turkish President Erdoğan, now a staunch ally, Devlet Bahçeli, the head of the extreme-right Nationalist Action Party, once again demanded the closure or restructuring of the constitutional court over its rights violations ruling on jailed parliamentarian Can Atalay, who the ruling coalition keeps behind bars despite being elected as a lawmaker, reports the Turkish daily Duvar.

  Read the details >> here <<


★ On February 5, the Journalists' Union of Turkey staged a protest in front of the Israeli Consulate in İstanbul, condemning the killing of their colleagues by Israel in Gaza and the ongoing war.

  The union's website said, "Thousands of people died in the war, which started with Hamas's attack on civilians in Israel on October 7, 2023, and continued with Israel's attacks on Gaza. No one can stop this human tragedy that is happening before the eyes of the whole world. In addition to civilians, 99 journalists and media workers, including 92 Palestinians, 4 Israelis, and 3 Lebanese, were killed in the attacks."

  The union said that Israeli forces deliberately targeted journalists.

  Read a detailed Bianet article about the event >> here <<


  Read the details here >> here <<

★ According to Agence France-Presse, Turks on Tuesday held pre-dawn vigils for the loss of thousands of people and destruction of hundreds of cities, towns, and villages in the earthquake-prone country's deadliest disaster of modern times.

  According to official numbers, over 50,000 people died, but many experts say that the death toll is nearly 200,000, and one expert says it might be as high as 500,000.

  Agence France-Presse adds that the earthquakes effectively wiped off ancient cities such as Antakya off the map.

  Other cities have gaping holes for tall apartments that toppled like houses of cards.

  Grieving Turks are still coming to terms with how the two 7.8-magnitude tremors could upturn the lives of millions of people in a matter of seconds while they were still asleep.


  Read the report in detail >> here <<

★ According to Bianet, from October 17 to November 15, 2023, the Clean Air Right Platform, the Turkish Physicians Association, and the Hatay Chamber of Physicians conducted an air quality monitoring study in Turkey's earthquake-stricken Antakya city in the southern Hatay province.

  The continuous measurements of dust, particulate matter PM2.5, over 30 days revealed that the residents of Hatay are still inhaling dust well above the limits.

  According to the study, the daily values of dust pollution exceeded the World Health Organization's 24-hour guideline value on 20 out of 30 days.

  The report emphasized that dust affected most infants, children, pregnant women, older people, and individuals with chronic illnesses.

  Meanwhile, on the first anniversary of devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, millions of survivors remain destitute and traumatized while still awaiting pledged assistance they desperately need, say U.N. and relief organizations, the VOA reported.

  "Survivors live with the loss and trauma of those frightful days," Martin Griffiths, the U.N.'s undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said. "As I saw firsthand in both countries, entire communities lost their homes and thousands of buildings were flattened, with schools, hospitals, mosques and churches destroyed or damaged."

  VOA adds that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said they would build hundreds of thousands of new homes as a result of the quake, but so far, they constructed only a fraction. The World Health Organization reports the disaster has wreaked havoc on the economies of Turkey and Syria, in addition to affecting the well-being of many of those citizens.

  Read the details >> here <<

  See also a Deutsche Welle video on the situation in the earthquake zone >> here <<


★ Turkey and the European Union signed an agreement for our €400 million grant package for the February 6, 2023 earthquake.

  Ambassador Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Turkey's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the funds are for constructing schools and hospitals in earthquake-affected areas and the restoration of structures of cultural heritage.

★ According to the daily Duvar, Fatih Karahan, the newly appointed governor of Turkey's central bank, said the bank's tight monetary policy would be in effect until a significant improvement in the inflation outlook.

  He said the inflation would be 36% for 2024 and 14% for 2025 and decline to 9% at the end of 2026.

  The Turkish Statistical Institute reported last week that the inflation rate was 64.8% in January. Independent experts calculated it over 129%. Some analysts think that the statistical Institute fudges the numbers.

★ According to a report prepared by the opposition Republican People's Party's Ankara parliamentarian Semra Dinçer, inflation swallowed up the retiree pensions. Retirees became unable to afford meat.

  Some of the increases she noted were:
  Ms. Dinçer based her analysis on the data from the Turkish Statistical Institute. She stated that the Justice and Development Party administration condemned retirees to hunger.

  Read the details >> here <<


★ Turkey's Divan Group continues its efforts to transform all its processes with a focus on sustainability.

  The group organized a workshop at Divan Istanbul Hotel as part of "Four Seasons Divan," a project of respect for nature.

  The workshop held in cooperation with the Circles of Impact Foundation discussed:

  The necessity and methods of joint action and co-transformation for a multidisciplinary design that focused on  Aylin Gezgüç, Chairman of the Circles of Influence Foundation, said the following in her speech:

  "If all the produced materials, which are the wealth of our country, could remain in the system: "Most importantly, we do not push the world into disasters.

  "We aim to produce and multiply examples that activate industrial ecology and ecological citizenship.

  "We wish you to host us in impact-oriented events, to follow us until we create collaborations and joint commitments to prepare the manifesto and witness its realization."


★ The Olten Philharmonic Orchestra, founded by Ceyhan and Fatma Olten, business people from Izmir, for artists who graduated from a music conservatory in Turkey and could not find a job, has completed its 10th year.

  The orchestra, led by electrical engineer Ceyhan Olten and Industrial engineer Fatma Olten, has made a name for itself with many concerts at home and abroad.

  On February 14, The orchestra will perform at Amsterdam's famous Concertgebouw hall. Olten will be the first Turkish orchestra invited to this historical and prestigious venue in the Netherlands.

  Olten Art Foundation Chief Executive Officer Fatma Olten said they started a social responsibility project ten years ago. She said,

  "This journey led us to the establishment of the Olten Philharmonic Orchestra.

  "On this path, we set out with our Art Coordinator Akgün Çavuş and held our first concert on December 9, 2013, at Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center [in Izmir].

  "As of today, our staff has reached around 30 artists, and we aim to grow it even more next season," she added.

  While evaluating the achievements and future goals, Fatma Olten said:

  "The fact that the audience appreciates our orchestra on international platforms and the concert tickets sell out quickly indicates that we have gained a solid place both in the art world and among the people."

★ İKSV, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, launched the Earthquake Zone Instrument Support Fund to provide instruments to music students and instructors after the February 6 earthquakes. It created a fund of approximately 5.6 million Turkish liras with the resources from the foundation's budget and the contributions of many supporters. The fund delivered 384 instruments to those in need.

  In addition to the students studying at Fine Arts High Schools, Conservatories, and Fine Arts Education Departments in the 11 provinces affected by the earthquake, the fund also provided instruments to the Hatay Academy Symphony Orchestra.

  İKSV and Institut Français also started the project "Notes of Hope." Within this project, the first steps of a two-year professional training collaboration with the French Metz Grand-Est Symphony Orchestra began between 2024-2025. Musicians from both countries will come together in master classes to be held in Hatay, one of the worst earthquake-stricken provinces in Turkey, to share their experiences and perform joint work.

  The Notes of Hope project, supported by France's leading cultural institutions such as Radio France, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and Philharmonie de Paris, provides instrument donations from France as well as education for music students and teachers from the earthquake zone in various music institutions of France.

  To see the list of all individuals and institutions contributing to the İKSV Instrument Support Fund, you can visit >> here <<.

★ As the 96th Academy Awards approach, Istanbul Modern Cinema presents its selection from the "Best International Film" category to the audience with a program called "Oscar's Strangers." The program, prepared with the contributions of Türk Tuborg A.Ş., includes ten films.

  The selection is from the films that screened at various film festivals around The World and won awards, Istanbul Modern Cinema Curator Müge Turan said. "The Oscar's Foreigners program, which we organized for the tenth time this year, is a thrilling event of the contentious Oscar race, formerly known as 'Best Foreign Language Film.'"

  It creates space for films representing different geographies and cultures from the broadcasting category. "Even though they are Oscar nominees, we still enable films beyond Hollywood to meet the audience," she added.

  Among the prominent films of the selection are:

★ The ballet "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" has met with the audience for three seasons and tells the immortal love of the beautiful gypsy girl "Esmeralda" and the hunchbacked church sexton "Quasimodo."

  Izmir State Opera and Ballet will stage again in February and March.

  The music of the ballet, inspired by Victor Hugo's novel of the same name, belongs to Cesare Pugni, and the musical arrangement is by Bujor Hoinic.

  The Turkish choreography and libretto of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" bears the signature of Göksel Armağan Davran and Ahmet Volkan Ersoy.

  The orchestra conductor is Tolga Taviş, the decor design will be by Çağda Çitkaya and costumes Gülay Korkut.

  The first staging of the ballet was on February 6, 8, and 10. It will be on the stage again on March 2, 4, and 6.

★ Representing contemporary Japanese cuisine with its worldwide locations, Roka continues the year while celebrating its 20th anniversary with a collaboration with a world-famous Turkish chef.

  Maksut Aşkar, who introduces Anatolian cuisine with the dishes he serves in restaurants in different cities of the world and his restaurant Neolokal, is a guest in the kitchen of Roka Istanbul.

  The event, where chefs Suna Hakyemez and Maksut Aşkar will bring together Japanese and Turkish cuisines, will be held on the evenings of Monday, February 12, and Tuesday, February 13.


(© Dick Osseman)
See Dick's Ankara photographs >>here<<

★ CNN Travel had an article on Ankara, the Turkish capital.

  Here is a summary :

  Just over a century ago, 1923 to be precise, a crumbling, ancient city in the middle of Turkey found itself catapulted into international prominence as the world around it reeled from years of conflict.

  While Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, had long been the country's seat of power, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the dawn of a new era for Turkey-and that meant a new capital.

  Located in the center of the country, Ankara dates back well before Roman times, but as the heart of the newly established Turkish Republic, it was soon to become the country's city of the future.

  Today, in tourism terms, at least, Ankara still lives in the shadow of Istanbul – often unfairly dismissed as a gray, bureaucratic, and boring destination.

  In reality, it's a fascinating city. Ankara is quieter, greener, more organized, and more livable – a confluence of its history and the youthful energy of its large student population. It's a city with its own colorful identity,

  The article then cites notable structures and institutions of the capital: Read the details >> here <<

★ "Hollow and Broken: A State of the World," a new installation by Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa, will be at the Turkish Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

  Karamustafa's installation will have an interconnection of sculptural works from found materials, inviting viewers to reflect on the current state of the world. The artist also discovers the tragic feeling of a tumultuous reality and issues threatening humanity.


High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
Ankara, in central Turkey        : 59/36 Partly Cloudy
Antalya, on the Mediterranean    : 64/57 Showers
Erzurum, in Eastern Turkey       : 43/25 Partly Cloudy
Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey : 61/52 Partly Cloudy
Izmir, on the Aegean             : 64/57 Showers
Trabzon, on the Black Sea        : 64/54 Partly Cloudy
Snow depths at skiing locations:
Erciyes in Kayseri, Central Turkey      : 23 inches
Ilgaz in Kastamonu, North Central Turkey: 11 inches
Kartalkaya in Bolu, Western Turkey      : 70 inches
Palandöken in Erzurum, Eastern Turkey   : 68 inches
Uludağ in Bursa, Western Turkey         : 17 inches
Sarıkamış in Kars, Eastern Turkey       : 58 inches



Premier League

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

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

* Standing in the league as of week ending 24
 1 - Fenerbahçe      63
 2 - G. Saray        63
 3 - Beşiktaş        39
 4 - Trabzon         37
 5 - Rize            36
 6 - Kasımpaşa       35
 7 - Antalya         34
 8 - Başakşehir      33
 9 - Adana           31
10 - Sivas           30
11 - Ankaragücü      29
12 - Hatay           28
13 - Kayseri         28
14 - Alanya      27
15 - Samsun          26
16 - Pendik          26
17 - K.gümrük        24
18 - G. Antep        24
19 - Konya           22
19 - Istanbul        11


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


*** Turkish American Association of California

is a non-profit
charitable organization established to promote better
understanding between Americans and Turks.

if you have any questions about Turks and Turkey,
e-mail them at taac@taaca.org


*** 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
16400 Lark Ave., Suite 260
Los Gatos, CA 95032

*** Turkish schools in the Bay Area are starting:
There are currently three schools:
Los Altos, San Ramon and Berkeley
For more information on these schools, drop an email to trh@turkradio.us.


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

Join TUFOD as a family! For more information on the venue and hours drop us an email, we'll put you in touch with them: trh@turkradio.us

Or visit their web pages at https://www.tufod.org/

*** Heart to Heart Anatolia
Providing scholarships and bringing people together while promoting Anatolian cultural values

Visit their pages at h2ha.org/