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2116x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 June 2014

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  • T.R.H.
    Jun 16, 2014
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      x0x Turkish News for the week ending 14 June 2014 

      [This is a transcript of the news broadcast on 14 June 2014]

      Courtesy of Turkish Radio Hour, producer of the

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

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        Turkey's Mosul Consulate before the ISIL attack

      * 49 Turkish employees, including Turkey's consul general, have been kidnapped by the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, reports the Hurriyet Daily News. Soldiers from Turkish Special Forces and children of diplomats are reportedly among the hostages 
        The Seattle Times reported that Vice President Joe Biden is condemning the actions of al-Qaida-inspired militants who kidnapped Turkish diplomats in Iraq. He says the United States is willing to support Turkish efforts to free the diplomats. 
        The White House says Biden spoke Wednesday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 
        The hostages are in good health, an Iraqi Turkmen who worked at the consulate told daily Hürriyet on June 12. 
        Turkish opposition parties meanwhile blamed the ruling Justice and Development Party administration for the events. 
        The opposition says the ruling party was actually giving secret support to ISIL for months, and now chickens are coming home to roost. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * In addition to the staff abducted from the consulate, ISIL also apprehended 31 Turkish truck drivers, reports the Hurriyet Daily News. One of them escaped on Saturday. 
        There are an estimated 7 to 10 thousand Turkish citizens in non-Kurdish regions of Iraq, and about 110 thousand in the Kurdish region. 
        Turkish government asked its citizens to leave Iraq, and announced that Turkish Airlines ticket prices will be kept at its lowest rates to facilitate their returns.

      * According to Bloomberg, Turkey's lira headed for a seven-week low and bonds fell as climbing oil prices sparked by the Iraq conflict threatened to stunt government efforts to narrow the trade deficit. 
        Analysts are saying rising oil priced due to unrest may also worsen Turkey's current-account deficit, which was getting somewhat better in the past few months. 
        Reuters reported that Turkish markets fell on Friday. 
        Reuters also reported that Ziraat Bank and Is Bank, Turkey's two biggest lenders, have temporarily ceased operations in Baghdad over security concerns, an executive said on Friday. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * Turkish energy minister denied rumors that the crude oil supply to Turkey is affected by the seizing of major oil producing regions of Northern Iraq by ISIL. 
        Saying that Turkey takes its energy from 13 different countries, Yildiz said that there has been no shipment for the last three months from the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline which is now under the militant group ISIL's control.

      * According to the Voice of America reporter Dorian Jones, Turkey may have to rethink its policy in northern Iraq in the light of the ISIL advances there. 
        Turkey objected to cities like Kirkuk being incorporated into the Kurdish region, but under the current circumstances it may lift its objections. 
        Turkey may also look to the Iraqi Kurds to bring stability to Northern Iraq, where there are major Turkish business interests, and a large reserve of oil to be shipped to Turkey under a recent agreement with the Kurdish administration.

      * The protests in Lice in southwestern Turkey by a group of Kurds that we reported to you last week turned violent this week. Two civilians were killed when rural police opened fire on protestors June 8. 
        Later during the funeral of the dead, a group scaled the fence around the 2nd Air Force Command near the cemetery and lowered the Turkish flag from its post. 
        This caused major uproar through out Turkey where reverence towards flag is very high.

      * Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned an aggravated life sentence given to sociologist Pınar Selek, who was convicted for allegedly being involved in the bombing of Istanbul's Spice Bazaar in 1998, reports the Hurriyet Daily News. 
        Ahead of the June 11 hearing, prosecutors at the high court had asked for the approval of the sentence. The sentence had sparked wide controversy, as an expert report had stated that the explosion, which killed seven people, was actually caused by a gas leak. 
        The feminist scholar resides in Strasbourg, France. Selek says she misses Turkey and Istanbul deeply, as she has been unable to return for years. 
        However, Ms. Selek may still face a retrial. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * According to Ayla Jean Yackley of Reuters, T\twenty-six people went on trial in Istanbul on Thursday on charges related to organizing anti-government protests last year in a case that rights activists have described as a scandal. 
        The protest organizers are facing up to 30 year in jail. 
        The defendants join an estimated 5,500 people on trial in 95 separate prosecutions, including some on terrorism charges, according to Turkish rights groups, linked to the unrest that challenged Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's decade in power. 
        Amnesty International denounced the proceedings as "show trial". 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * According to the Hurriyet Daily News, U.S. federal agents have raided 19 charter schools affiliated with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen's "Hizmet" movement, including three in Ohio, where an FBI criminal investigation in Cleveland has led to search warrants in Indiana and Illinois over the past week, Ohio-based Beacon Journal has reported. 
        Concept Schools, a charter school operator headquartered near Chicago, manages 19 charter schools in Ohio, second only to Texas with 44 such schools. There are nearly 140 charter schools, spread across 26 states, reportedly associated with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric exiled from Turkey, living in Pennsylvania. 
        Concept Schools, which emphasizes math and science, has been investigated previously by the U.S. Department of Labor for its use of foreign workers. Ohio audits found that public money for the schools had been used improperly for visas, according to the report. 
        The Turkish government has recently started an international campaign against the global network of schools affiliated with Gülen, the ruling Justice and Development Party's ally-turned-nemesis. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      * According to the Hurriyet Daily News, censorship on ads featuring women's bare legs in the streets of Istanbul raised eyebrows seven years after a ban on bikinis incited widespread fury at the municipality. 
        A representative of the company putting up the advertisements, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they had cut women's legs from the photos to receive approval from the Urban Design Directorate of the Istanbul Municipality. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      Edited by Colleen Clark


      * Director Ömer Can's debut "King of the Cotton" tackles one of Turkey's endemic problems, child labor mixing magical fairy tales with the everyday reality, Emrah GÜLER of Hurriyet Daily News reports. 
        "Toprak" in Turkish not only means soil, but is also the name of the movie's little hero. It's hard not to feel a sense of deja vu that you are being taken to the Turkish cinema of the 1950s upon reading the press release for last week's release of "King of the Cotton". 
        The synopsis reveals that the protagonist is the eight-year-old Toprak who is cut off from his childhood, heading to the cotton fields as a seasonal worker. 
        Child actors and child characters never actually left Turkish cinema, but they now turned into professionals in realistic roles. 
        Some examples are Tunç Başaran's "Don't Let Them Shoot the Kite" of 1989, a child's accounts of life in prison; Çağan Irmak's 2005 tearjerker "My Father and My Son", the account of the coup through the eyes of different generations of men; and Reha Erdem's "Five Times A Day" of 2006, a look at life in its slowest in a village through the lives of children. 
        Despite its ill-advised press release, "King of the Cotton" falls more into the latter category with impressive acting and full-blown characters. 
        The story follows Toprak reciting his days in the cotton fields to his sister, only taking out the true hardships and replacing them with a fairy tale, where there are princes and princesses. 
        Despite his instinct to protect his little sister, Toprak being a child himself, he soon becomes immersed in his own fairy tale. The film is one of the better examples of narration by children, a fine story through the eyes of children. 
        Read more at >> here <<

        Not only 'la crème de la crème' of the Turkish cinema - like Yılmaz Güney and Atıf Yılmaz - are on the list: Voters can even chose Şahan Gökbakar's outrageously entertaining 'Recep İvedik' debut movie 

      * Voting has recently begun to select the best 100 films of Turkish cinema as part of events marking the 100th anniversary of the country's cinema, reports the Anatolia News Agency. 
        Not only "la crème de la crème" of the Turkish cinema - like Yılmaz Güney and Atıf Yılmaz - are on the list: Voters can even chose Şahan Gökbakar's outrageously entertaining "Recep İvedik" debut movie. 
        On the first day of the voting, nearly 60,000 people voted for the films. Some 300 films, selected from a list of 500 films determined by scholars, professional societies and nongovernmental organizations, were presented to public, said Cinema General Director Mesut Cem Erkul. 
        "The voting will continue until Sept. 1, and we will announce the results to the public with a special ceremony. Posters and visuals of the best 100 films will be displayed at an exhibition. Also, a costume from each film will be made and they will be displayed at the Turkish Film Archive and a Cinema Museum will be opened," Erkul said. 
        He also noted that in its 100th year, Turkey received invitations from the world's leading festivals such as Venice, Valladolid, Guanajuato and Busan. 
        Those who want to vote for the best 100 Turkish films can visit: http://100yil100film.gov.tr or http://www.yuzyilyuzfilm.gov.tr. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      * According to the Anatolia News Agency , Joan Miro's bronze sculpture "The Woman with Beautiful Breasts", is on display at the Baksı Museum, which won the Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2014 
        The museum was established in 2010 in the village of Baksı by Professor Hüsamettin Koçan and is located 45 kilometers away from the eastern Black Sea city of Bayburt. 
        The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2014 was awarded in December 2013 to the Baksı Museum by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. 
        Koçan received the prize on April 8 at the Rohan Palace in Strasbourg. 
        Read more at >> here << 


      * Turkey's western province of Denizli is home to 2,000-year-old baths in the ancient city of Laodicea, reports the Anatolia News Agency. 
        According to the head of the Laodicea excavation, Pamukkale University head of the Archaeology Department Professor Celal Şimşek, said the ancient city had as much importance as Ephesus in terms of its trade, arts, culture and sports. 
        He said Laodicea was the center of arts, culture and trade and that Pamukkale University had been carrying out excavations and restorations there for 11 years. 
        "It was one of the two mega cities in Anatolia. I estimate 2,000 years ago, Laodicea had a population of 150,000. The typical population for ancient cities fluctuates between 40,000 and 50,000. 
        "Excavations are ongoing around the Laodicea Church, Holy Agora, Southern Portico, eastern pool and the Empire Septimius Severus Memorial Fountain," the professor added. 
        Read more at >> here <<

        The Red Church was listed as one of the 100 World Heritage sites in danger in 2008.

      * The roof of a 1,500-year-old church in the central Anatolian region of Cappadocia has begun to be restored before its collapse, reports the Anatolia News Agency. 
        Now, officials need resources for the restoration of the other parts of the Red Church, which was included in the 2008 World Monuments Watch. 
        The Paris-based Cappadocia Friends Association's Turkey representative Osman Diler said the association was established in 1995 for the Red Church to be restored. He said the church was included on the list of the World Monuments Watch as a result of the association's works. 
        Diler said the restoration of the Red Church had started in 2011 while it was in danger of collapse, and they received support from France, the U.S., Greece and Turkey. 
        Dilber says that they need about $700 thousand for the restoration, and funds raises so far was adequate for only 30% of the restoration work. He says the association is striving to raise more money for the rest of the restoration. 
        He said foreign tourists' interest in the church has increased in recent years. "Tourists come to the church in groups. When the restoration is done, this interest will increase more. Then we can sell tickets and earn revenue," he added. 
        The Red Church is one of the oldest churches on the vast plains of the Cappadocia region. It was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Unlike other churches in the region carved from volcanic rock, the church's structure employs traditional masonry building methods and exemplifies the high quality of craftsmanship of the area at that time. 
        The central dome, supported by an octagonal base, is the most prominent architectural element of the church, featuring various types of volcanic stone. Light illuminates the interior through windows located at the base of the building. Evidence of huge lintels and precisely cut granite blocks indicate that the church served as an imperial, or funerary, chapel. The site was also a stop for pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      * Turkey's most popular TV series "Magnificent Century", which has reached hundreds of millions around the world, had its finale with the 139th episode on June 12, reports the Hurriyet Daily News. 
        The main character of the series, the 16th-century Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, played by Halit Ergenç, died in the final episode during his expedition to Zigetvar. 
        In his final moments, the sultan heard the words of his grand vizier Pargalı İbrahim, who he killed, saying "It is time my sultan." Then Süleyman the Magnificent, wearing white clothes, was depicted walking into eternity. 
        The TV series, which is based on the story of the sultan's harem and his romance with Hürrem Sultan, conquered more than 40 countries from Arabic speaking lands to the Balkans, and has especially captivated the nations that were previously under Ottoman control. 
        Read more at >> here <<

      * According to Jacob Resneck of Religion News Service, Turkey's religious authorities have given the go-ahead for the country's controversial "Rockin' Imam" to keep on rocking. 
        Ahmet Muhsin Tuzer, a Muslim prayer leader from the coastal town of Kas, raised eyebrows last year after he formed the band FiRock and performed as its frontman. 
        His case ��" as far as anyone can tell — is unprecedented. There have not been any — to date — public cases of Turkish imams forming rock bands. 
        Read more at >> here <<


      EXCHANGE RATE for the U.S. dollar in Turkish Liras: 2.13


      High and Low Temperatures in Degrees F, Weather
      Ankara, in central Turkey:         84/59 Thunderstorms
      Antalya, on the Mediterranean:     82/72 Partly Cloudy
      Istanbul, in northwestern Turkey:  84/68 Mostly Cloudy
      Izmir, on the Aegean:              88/68 Mostly Sunny
      Trabzon, on the Black Sea:         81/63 Partly Cloudy
      Van, in Eastern Turkey:            73/48 Mostly Sunny
      Seawater temperatures:
       Black Sea measured at Trabzon         70
       Marmara Sea measured at Tekirdag      70
       Aegean Sea measured at Izmir          73
       Mediterranean Sea measured at Antalya 75


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