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x0x Turkish News for the week ending 17 February 2024

[This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 17 February 2024]

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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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".]


★ After a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Egypt on February 14 after many years of tension between the two countries due to Erdogan's support of the Moslem Brotherhood, an Islamist entity that Egypt considers a terrorist organization.

  Erdoğan and his Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi primarily concentrated on the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas.

  After the meeting, Pres. el-Sissi said that they agreed on the need for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the need to achieve calm in the West Bank so that the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks can restart and discuss the path to an independent Palestinian state.

  Mr. Erdogan said that Israel should not conduct an offensive against Rafah, a Palestinian city at the border with Egypt crammed with refugees from the north. He also accused Israel of massacring the Palestinians.

  According to Reuters, Mr. Erdogan also said Turkey was ready to cooperate with Egypt to rebuild Gaza.

★ VOA correspondent Dorian Jones had a video report on the Christians in Istanbul. In the report, he said that Istanbul's Christians are in fear after the Islamic State church Attack on January 28.

  Turkish security forces are detaining hundreds of people. However, authorities are warning of further attacks against Jews and Christians.

★ A Turkish court canceled the zoning plan for the Canal Istanbul Yenişehir Reserve Construction Area. The court ruling said the plan was not following urban planning principles and fundamentals.

  The Istanbul metropolitan mayoralty, run by the opposition, filed a lawsuit against the canal and the government's proposed zoning plan some months ago.

  Canal Istanbul is an artificial sea-level waterway planned by Turkey in East Thrace, connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea and thus to the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. It would bisect the current European side of Istanbul and form an island between Asia and Europe.

  The new waterway would bypass the Bosporus straight.

★ According to the daily Duvar, TRT, Turkey's state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, allocated almost 2000 minutes to the ruling Justice and Development Party since the start of the local elections for 40 days and only 25 minutes to the main opposition Republican People's party.

  The pro-Kurdish DEM party had no time on the airways but 27 minutes of content against the party.

  Necdet İpekyüz, Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council Member and a one-time parliamentarian from a pro-Kurdish party until 2023, examined news, live broadcasts, news programs, and political rallies broadcast on TRT News between January 1 - February 10 to arrive at the statistics.


★ On February 13, a major landslide occurred at a gold mine operated by a Canada-based multinational company and its junior Turkish partner in Turkey's eastern province of Erzincan.

  The slide buried nine workers alive, and environmentalists say that it can trigger an environmental disaster since the soil contains cyanide used in extracting gold.

  The Euphrates River is down from the landslide. Any contamination of the river water would kill life and threaten the water supply for millions of people in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

  On February 15, a worker said that the company knew about a crack beforehand and claimed company safety experts came to the workers after the disaster and told them they had known about the crack two days before the landslide.

  On Friday, Alparslan Bayraktar, Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, said they determined the location of the missing miners and rescue teams would enter the locations several feet under the surface.

  The mine produces about 6.5 tons of gold annually, about 20% of the demand in Turkey.

  Meanwhile, according to the daily Duvar, on February 14, Turkish authorities detained Sedat Cezayirlioğlu, a Turkish anti-mine advocate, for his remarks on the landslide disaster at the gold mine.

  Read more >> here <<

★ According to VOA, Journalists in Turkey welcomed a recent Constitutional Court ruling that revoked bans on online access to hundreds of news articles.

  After examining 502 orders, the court published a ruling that lifted the bans, stating that the restrictions were unconstitutional and violated freedom of expression.

  Lower courts had blocked the stories, citing Article 9 of Law No. 5651, which enables such bans or removal of content in cases of personal rights violations.

  Journalists and press freedom advocates have long said that the government used the measure as a form of censorship against digital media.


★ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the World Governments Summit in Dubai, which took place between February 12 and 14 with the participation of over 25 heads of state and government leaders.

  On the sidelines of the meeting, President Erdoğan met with representatives of the United Arab Emirates and international investment firms, reports the Turkish Radio Television Corporation.

  He has signed 40 agreements with the United Arab Emirates in various sectors, including trade, finance, customs, energy, environment, and banking. He also announced that they would increase the trade volume between the United Arab Emirates and Turkey to $50 billion annually within the next five years.

  According to TRT, Turkey has become the largest trading partner of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf region, with close to 600 Emirates companies operating in various sectors in Turkey and around a thousand Turkish companies in the Emirates.

  In the Persian Gulf region, the United Arab Emirates became the largest trading partner of Turkey, with close to 600 Emirates companies operating in various sectors in Turkey and around a thousand Turkish companies in the Emirates.

★ Turkey's central bank published the February edition of the Survey of Market Participants.

  The participants expect the year-end inflation to increase to 42.96% from 42.04%.

  I should note here that the current annualized inflation rate calculated by a government agency is about 65% for last month and 129% by an independent group of economists.

  The participants expect one U.S. dollar to be around 40 Turkish liras at the end of the year, up from the current 30.8.



  Read more about the Pekinel sisters and see a larger view of the photograph >> here <<

★ ICMA, the International Classical Music Awards, announced its 2024 winners. The jury, consisting of international classical music publishers, media representatives, and musicians, deemed Güher and Süher Pekinel, Turkey's world-famous pianists, worthy of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

  Güher Pekinel and Süher Pekinel, born on March 29, 1951, in Istanbul, are twin Turkish pianists performing mostly in duets. The Pekinels are among the world's most well-known piano duos.

  As the only duo that plays two pianos back to back, without making eye contact with each other and focusing on the depth of musical breathing, Pekinels are known for their repertoire enriched with albums and collaborations with the biggest names in the classical music world.

  ICMA started giving music awards in 2011, replacing the Cannes Classical Awards.


  Işıl Kasapoğlu

★ ENKA Art continues with work in documentaries that will convey the rich history of theater tradition in Turkey. So far, it published two documentaries, one on Genco Erkal and the other on Yıldız Kenter, both revered theater actors.

  The next one in the works is on Işıl Kasapoğlu. ENKA Art commissioned Porte Film to make the documentary. It will premiere in July at the ENKA open-air theater in Istanbul.

  Işıl Kasapoğlu is known as one of the living legends of Turkish theatre. Kasapoğlu studied at the Theatre Department of the University of Paris Sorbonne. From 1978 to 1983, he worked at the Pierre Vial workshop of the Paris State Conservatory, assisting many directors in Paris.

  Upon the invitation of Istanbul Municipality City Theatres, he returned to Turkey. He then directed the plays The Servant of Two Masters (1987) and King Lear (1990), both of which have granted him many awards.

  During his time as a director at the State Theatre, he staged Shakespeare plays in many cities of Turkey.

  He was the founder of many theater companies in Turkey.

Chef Sinem Özler of Seraf Restaurant.

★ On February 12, The New York Times travel section had an article on Turkey's female chefs.

  Titled "How Female Chefs Are Sparkling in Istanbul," the article writes that women, long expected to cook for their families at home, have emerged as stars in Istanbul's male-dominated food scene.

  The article then wrote about the restaurants where the women define Istanbul's cuisine.

  Among the restaurants and chefs covered are:

  See a larger version of the photograph and read the article >> here <<

★ Travel and Tour website has an article on Istanbul titled "Istanbul's romantic vistas offer the ultimate guide for couples' photography."

  It adds:

  "İstanbul, a city that has been a muse for artists and writers throughout history, offers a treasure trove of photographic inspirations for both amateurs and professionals alike.

  "Its rich historical legacy combined with a dynamic arts, culture, and culinary landscape offers countless opportunities for capturing stunning photographs.

  "İstanbul is renowned for its romantic ambiance, making it an ideal locale for capturing love stories, from engagements to weddings and anniversaries."

  The article then lists the top places for capturing love in photographs.

★ According to BBC, in December, Euromonitor International released its report, the Top 100 City Destinations Index 2023, detailing the top 10 cities in the world for international arrivals. Surprisingly, two of the four most-visited cities on Earth are in Turkey – Istanbul and Antalya.

  "Istanbul tops the list for the number of international arrivals in 2023 with 26% growth year-on-year, followed by London in second place (up 17%) and Dubai in third (up 18%)," the report notes.

  More curious, however, is how Antalya, a city tucked on the Turkish Riviera home to 1.3 million people, managed to welcome 16.5 million international visitors – more than Paris (population: 2.1 million), Hong Kong (7.4 million), Bangkok (11 million) and New York City (8.5 million), and more than 12 times its population.

★ The Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum, opened to visitors in 2015, will exhibit 81 artifacts from the Neolithic period for the first time.

  With an area of 600,000 sq. Ft., 300,000 of which are indoors, the museum displays artifacts excavated from sites such as Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe, occupied by humans 12500 years ago and referred to as the "zero point of history."

  Among these artifacts are sculptures of a "wild boar" and a "red vulture" made of limestone with paint residues on the surface, as well as human figurines and ornaments made of beads found in the "D structure" of Göbeklitepe.

★ Vincent Kilbride wrote in the February 15 edition of The Economist that the third-largest exporter of television shows was Turkey.

  After the U.S. and Britain, Turkish shows proliferate around the world, he adds. Between 2020 and 2023, global demand for Turkish shows grew by 184% compared with 73% for Korean dramas, according to Parrot Analytics.

  He adds that Turkish shows are popular not just in the Middle East but also in Europe and Latin America.

  Last year, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt were the three biggest importers of new Turkish shows. Istanbul Chamber of Commerce estimates that Turkish exporters earned $600 million in 2022.


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



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