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Turkey

Turkey to return Eurovision ‘if no more bearded divas’

The Azeri Times

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The head of Turkey’s public broadcaster has cited “someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt” as one of the main reasons of Ankara’s ongoing boycott against Eurovision, apparently referring to Conchita, who won the international song contest in 2014.

“We don’t consider to rejoin the contest. We have reasons like the voting system. As a public broadcaster, we also cannot broadcast live at 9 p.m. –when children are still awake– someone like the bearded Austrian who wore a skirt, do not believe in genders and says that he is both a man and a woman,” the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation’s (TRT) general manager İbrahim Eren said during panel at a İbn Haldun University in Istanbul on Aug. 4.

Turkey has not participated in Eurovision since 2012 in protest at changes in the contest’s voting system that introduced a 50/50 jury and televoting deliberation, as well as the “Big Five” rule that allows Spain, Italy, the U.K., France and Germany to automatically qualify every year for the final.

It was speculated last year that Turkey could soon return to the European competition.

While refuting this speculation on Aug. 4, Eren also cited another reason for Turkey’s decision to boycott the event.

“I have told the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on the Eurovision issue that they deviated from their values. As a result, other countries also left Eurovision. There is a mental chaos at the EBU because of its executives. If they can fix it, we can join Eurovisionagain,” Eren added.

The “bearded diva” Conchita, formerly known as Conchita Wurst, won the Eurovision song contest in 2014 for her song Rise Like a Phoenix.

29-year-old Austrian is a recording artist and drag performer portrayed by Thomas Neuwirth.

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The United States

US pastor in Turkey appeals for release after key Washington meeting

The Azeri Times

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U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention has caused one of deepest rows ever between Turkey and the U.S., has renewed his appeal to a Turkish court to release him from house arrest and lift his travel ban, in a development that comes a day after Turkish Ambassador to Washington Serdar Kılıç had a meeting with National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Brunson’s lawyer, İsmail Cem Halavurt, filed the demand on Aug. 14 around a week after his previous appeal was rejected by the Turkish court in the western province of İzmir.

The continued detention of Brunson has become a lightning rod in strained relations between Turkey and the U.S., leading the U.S. to slap economic and political sanctions on its NATO ally Turkey.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence had threatened Turkeywith more sanctions if Brunson was not released and sent back home.

The recent situation in ties and the Brunson affair were discussed in Washington between Kılıç and Bolton. Although the White House said the meeting took place upon Kılıç’s will, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stressed that it was arranged by the White House.

“The meeting was scheduled by the White House. Contacts between our ambassador and the White House naturally continue,” he said at a press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Aug. 14.

“There are those who want to resolve this Brunson issue while some others want to prolong it until the November [mid-term] elections in the U.S.,” the minister stated, while complaining about confusion and miscommunication in the Trump administration.

“What our ambassador has told Bolton is clear: There are issues we have been discussing. We have drafted road maps and action plans with regard to these issues. We have updated them once again,” he said.

Kılıç reiterated that threats and sanctions will not help and will only worsen ties between the two countries, Çavuşoğlu noted, saying “relations with Turkey can be improved if the U.S. abandons the language of sanctions and threats.”

The minister said there was no change in the conditions of Brunson, who continues to receive consular access from U.S. diplomatic missions.

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan voices confidence in Turkey’s economy

The Azeri Times

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Azerbaijan is “completely” confident about the future of Turkey’s economy, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Aug. 14.

In a statement, the ministry said: “Our country will continue to invest capital and take an active part in Turkey’s economy.”

It noted that the large projects carried out in Turkey in recent years will provide additional contributions to economy and security of the country and the region.

“Azerbaijan, as always, will continue to support Turkish people and the state in all areas,” it added.

Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations after Washington imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül for not releasing American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Aug. 10 doubled U.S. tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

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Armenia

Suit filed in Turkey for inheritance of Armenian brothel owner Manukyan

The Azeri Times

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Sixteen relatives filed a suit in Istanbul for the massive inheritance of brothel owner Matild Manukyan seventeen years after her death.

Armenian brothel owner Matild Manukyan,was one of the largest taxpayers in Turkey. She left a huge fortune: 486 properties, dozens of cars and millions in cash, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The estate was inherited by Kerope Cilingir, who was officially registered as his son. However, last week Sixteen relatives of Manukyan  filed a lawsuit claiming that Cilingir illegally took possession of the property.

According to the the attorneys of the plaintiffs, they found out that the state of Manukyan was mainly based on what she received from her great uncle Armenak Chah Mouradian and her grandmother Susan Chah Mouradian.

“Manukyan had no sons or daughters. My clients were her only relatives and legal heirs. But Kerope Çilingir usurped the inheritance,” the petition said.

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