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2117x0x Turkish News for the week ending 21 June 2014

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  • T.R.H.
    Jun 23, 2014
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      x0x Turkish News for the week ending 21 June 2014 

      [This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 21 June 2014]

      Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

      TURKISH CULTURAL PROGRAM, every Saturday from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.

      on KUSF-in-Exile:  http://savekusf.org/

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

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

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      * According to news reports, Azerbaijan is taking its cue from the Turkish government to eliminate so-called "Turkish schools" from its territory. 
        The schools are affiliated with the US based cleric Fethullah Gülen, a one-time ally, now an adversary of the Justice and Development Party administration and Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, party's leader and the current Turkish prime minister. 
        Organized under the umbrella of the Azerbaijan International Education Center, they include 13 Turkish university preparation courses and 10 high schools. 
        After an open fallout in late 2013, Mr. Erdogan accused Mr. Gulen's followers to form a state-within-state and started purging judges, prosecutors and police suspected to be Mr. Gulen's disciples.

      * It is not only the Gülenist schools that the Erdogan administration is targeting, but also the lawsuits brought against the military, journalists and intellectuals are being undone. 
        The Erdogan administration, having given blessing to two major trials, are now saying that these are inspired by Gülen. 
        According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled June 18 that the rights of a former police chief,  who was sentenced to 15 years for a book in which he allegedly exposed the influence of the followers of Fethullah Gülen,  were violated. 
        The ruling may clear the way for a retrial of former Eskişehir police chief Hanefi Avcı, who has been in prison for the past four years. 
        Mr. Avci, who said he was formerly a follower of Gülen, accused the movement of pulling strings within Turkey's police, judiciary and intelligence services. His claims sparked debate about the influence of religious communities in key Turkish state institutions. 
        Recently, government officials have accused Gulen's followers of being behind the graft probe investigation that has implicated four ex-ministers and business circles close to the ruling Justice and Development Party. 
        Massive purges have been orchestrated within the police department and the judiciary, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan even pointed to "a parallel state" aiming to topple the government.

      The first convicts released after the ruling were Air Force Colonel Davut Ismet Çınkı and four Navy colonels at Maltepe Prison. They were carrying the photos of three soldiers who died while they were on trial in the Sledgehammer case

      * According to Reuters, a Turkish criminal court ordered the release on Thursday of 230 military officers convicted in 2012 of plotting to topple Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan after the country's top court ruled their trial was flawed. 
        The court ruling came a day after the constitutional court said the rights of the officers were violated in the "Sledgehammer" trial, which marked a high-point in Mr. Erdogan's drive to tame an army that for decades had dominated politics. 
        According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the panel of judges that made the decision paving the way for the release of 230 suspects in the Sledgehammer trial consisted of three women.

      * According to the Jurist organization, a Turkish court on Wednesday sentenced two former generals to life imprisonment for leading Turkey's 1980 coup d'etat that led to three years of military rule. 
        The two retired generals, 96-year-old Kenan Evren, who held the presidential office for seven years following the military takeover, and 89-year-old former air force commander Tahsin Sahinkaya, are the only two surviving leaders of the coup, and were not able to attend the trial due to medical complications. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan presented the award to Mehtap Özcan Ertürk.

      * Turkey's Economy Journalists Association's "Best News" award has gone to a report about a leaked phone conversation allegedly between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son related to the graft investigation probe. 
        In the conversation the prime minister asks his son to hide the money stashed in his home. 
        Surprisingly, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan presented the award to a reporter of fiercely anti-government daily Sözcü, which published the winning piece. 
        As we reported to you last week, an expert report claimed that the recordings were montages. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with outgoing U.S. ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone on June 20 in Istanbul. 
        Ambassador Ricciardone and his wife, Marie Ricciardone, paid a visit to Gül as the U.S. ambassador's term in Turkey is coming to an end. 
        The Obama administration has nominated John Bass, the former ambassador to Georgia and a special assistant to Secretary of State John Kerry, to replace the outgoing envoy as the United States' envoy to Ankara. 
        Bass needs the Senate's approval to be appointed to the Turkey post.

      * Turkey and  the United States are in close coordination over developments in Iraq, as security conditions have worsened since last week after jihadists seized control of a number of key cities, Turkish diplomatic sources have said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News reporter Sevil Erkus.  
        A potential U.S. strike is of major concern for Turkey, as at least 80 Turkish citizens, including its Mosul consul general, have been held hostage by ISIL since June 11. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on June 19 that a U.S. offensive was "unlikely" as it could bring about civilian casualties. 
        Although clashes between Iraqi troops and ISIL continue, Baghdad airport is still operating and Turkey's efforts to evacuate its citizens are continuing. Some 250 workers from Turkish private company, Enka, were recently transported to Turkey via air, sources said.

      * According to Reuters, Iraq's extra demand for Turkish fuel due to the Iraqi Baiji refinery attack will strain the limited border export capacity, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Thursday.

      * Speaking of oil, according to Bloomberg News, an oil tanker that loaded Iraqi oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan, is offering it at 1/2 the price. 
        The revenue is going to the Kurdish administration in Northern Iraq, despite the Iraqi central administration's objections. 
        Bloomberg says that this could facilitate the breakup of Iraq with Turkish complicity. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      * U.S. Federal Reserve optimism has pumped a much-needed impetus for the Turkish Lira against the dollar, putting an end to a one-week tumble of the currency and relieving pressure from the current crisis in Iraq, reports the Hurriyet Daily News. 
        The lira/dollar ratio, which approached 2.15 on the night of June 18, rapidly dropped down to 2.12 over the night after the Federal Reserve delivered a broadly upbeat outlook on the U.S. economy and suggested interest rates would remain low for some time. 
        Turkish stocks also reacted to the Fed's statements positively by opening the day with a 1.41 percent rise at 79,197 points. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      Edited by Ece Cizmeci


      * Renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say has played the piano with a 65-year-old fan in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, where he performed a concert in June 19. 
        Münevver Ercan, who took piano lessons after discovering music through her grandson, went to the venue after learning Say would perform. 
        "Her interest made me happy. I am watching her videos on Facebook. I think that her story is a good example for others," pianist Say said. 
        When Say asked about Mozart and Beethoven, Ercan said she was currently reading Beethoven's book. 
        Ercan also gave organic eggs to Say as a gift. 
        Read more at >> here << 
        See a video on youtube: http://youtu.be/OdPd6vMShJc


      * A Turkish cartoonist has come out on top at the 31st Aydin Dogan Cartoon Contest, which kicked off in Bodrum on June 17 with a day-long session where judges got together to select the winner. 
        Kürşat Zaman, who was awarded with the third prize in the competition in 2010, won the first prize this year. His winning work depicts a scene where a military helicopter delivers the coffins of those who died in a war as families await their deceased loved ones around a baggage carousel. 
        The award winning cartoons will all be displayed at the Milta Bodrum Marina Osmanli Tersanesi Kaymakamlik Art Gallery between June 18 and 26. The award ceremony of the competition will be held in September. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * At the 25th Ankara International Film Festival, the awards for best film, best actress, best actor and best actor in a supporting role were given to Atıl İnanç's film "Circle". 
        The closing ceremony of the festival was held on June 15 at the Presidential Symphonic Orchestra Hall. 
        The 25th Ankara International Film Festival was organized by the World Mass Media Research Foundation. The event was held between June 5 and 15. This year's theme has been determined as "Memorylessness." 
        Due to the 25th year of the festival, people who have previously won awards, or contributed to the festival, were congratulated with gratitude plaques. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      * Acclaimed Spanish-French musician Manu Chao, who is set to appear in a concert in Istanbul this weekend, has commended last year's Gezi demonstrations with great enthusiasm and support. 
        The renowned singer and political activist referred to the protests as an "inspiring fight for change and a better world," commending the "courage, tenacity and determination" shown by hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets across the country. 
        Manu Chao is set to take part in the Ekşi Fest on June 21 at LifePark Istanbul, alongside Turkish Dub and Reggae groups Baba Zula and Sattas. The festival has been organized by the country's most popular, funny and irreverent online forum, Ekşi Sözlük or "Sour Dictionary," whose founder recently received a 10-month suspended prison sentence on charges of blasphemy. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      * The countdown has started for the 4th International Istanbul Ballet Competition and Festival, which will be a platform for dancers from around the world to show their talents. The festival will kick off on June 21 at the Zorlu Center PSM with the ballet rendition of "Count Dracula." 
        Organized by the State Opera and Ballet, the competition aims to highlight Turkey's artistic identity. The event will be organized into two age groups, 15-19 and 20-25 and in male and female categories. The winner of the competition will receive 8,000 euros. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 2.15


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
      	Ankara, in central Turkey:         77/55 Partly Cloudy
      	Antalya, on the Mediterranean:     90/70 Mostly Sunny
      	Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey:  82/66 Partly Cloudy
      	Izmir, on the Aegean:              88/66 Mostly Sunny
      	Trabzon, on the Black Sea:         73/66 Thunderstorms
      	Van, in Eastern Turkey:            77/48 Mostly Sunny
      * In the latest example of extraordinary weather conditions affecting Istanbul, a rare tornado over the Marmara Sea passed through the Pendik and Tuzla neighborhoods in eastern Istanbul and reached Kocaeli province. 
        Images of the tornado were widely shared on Turkish social media. 
        Read more at >> here <<  

        See a youtube video at: http://youtu.be/wpDRcztTmDc 

        Seawater temperatures:
      	 Black Sea measured at Trabzon         72
      	 Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag      70
      	 Aegean Sea measured at Izmir          77
      	 Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 77



      * Turkish premiere league is in recess.

      * Turkish basketball team Galatasaray decided to boycott the last game of this year's league finals for uncontrolled fan violence. 
        The decision drew strong rebukes from both its rival Fenerbahçe and the Basketball Federation. 
        Fenerbahçe clinched its sixth Turkish league whenl Galatasaray failed to show up to the last game.. 
        The federation announced Fenerbahçe had been fined 40,000 Turkish Liras for incidents in the fifth game of the final series at the Ülker Arena, instead of banning Fener fans from the last game


      [Saat 18:30 and 19:30 'da iki kez okuyun]

      *** Businesses offering discounts to our listeners:

      New Kapadokia Restaurant, Burlingame, 15% off. Phone 650.368.5500 

      *** On line Turkish classes:


      *** 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@... 

      *** For more music from Turkey and the Middle East tune to

      international Cultural Program with host George Geevargis.

      San Francisco World TV Channel 29
      Sundays at 9-10 A.M. 

      *** Yore dance invites you to:

      Free Turkish Folkdance Classes.

      Please contact with Yore Folk Ensemble for the details.

      TELL YOUR FRIENDS who might be interested joining our group.

      Yore Folk Ensemble

      *** Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California 

      The local Azeri community organizes many events throughout the year. Follow their activities through their web pages, or subscribe to their e-mail list:



      Azerbaijan Cultural Society of Northern California
      16400 Lark Ave., Suite 260
      Los Gatos, CA 95032

      *** TABC Last Thursdays June in Palo Alto 

      Thursday, June 26 at 7:00pm 

      This month, Turkish American Business Connection is inviting you to Joya, Latin American Tapas restaurant with a wonderful ambiance. 

      IIf you want to enjoy your drinks and with Joya's amazing ambiance, come and join us. 

      Get ready, bring plenty of business cards!...