London: PKK supporters disturb peace in the city

                              By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>  <p>LONDON (AA) – The activities of terrorist PKK sympathizers in London over the past week have come under more scrutiny, with some asking why backers of an illegal group are allowed to gather, mobilize publicly, and even freely raid media and human rights organizations.</p>  <p>Groups of protestors carrying terrorist PKK flags, banners, and posters -- bearing the insignia of the illegal group or the likeness of its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan -- have been seen on the streets of the British capital.</p>  <p>A group of 50 PKK sympathizers invaded a building in London last Wednesday where the offices of Turkish international news channel TRT World and Britain’s ITV are located.</p>  <p>Another group on Saturday night invaded Amnesty International’s entrance and manhandled a security officer before being removed by police who were called to the scene.</p>  <p>In both incidents, the groups hung up posters and symbols of the terrorist organization PKK/YPG and freely and openly showed their solidarity with terrorism.</p>  <p>The PKK is a banned organization in the U.K. and anybody seem openly praising its terrorist activities should face prosecution.</p>  <p>The supporters have been observed shouting anti-Turkish slogans and were able to mount propaganda without interference from the authorities, despite laws that deem some of their actions on these marches criminal offences.</p>  <p>- Amnesty arrests</p>  <p>&quot;It is with considerable regret that Amnesty International can confirm that just before 10 p.m. last night a group of approximately 40 protesters rushed the door and forcibly entered the offices of the organization's International Secretariat in London,” the rights group said in a statement.</p>  <p>“A security guard was pushed and pulled to the ground and trampled underfoot,” it said.</p>  <p>Amnesty also said the police were called to the scene and they “assessed the situation and determined that criminal offenses had been committed and took action to remove those occupying the building.”</p>  <p>“Regretfully some of the protesters refused to leave and the police had to arrest and physically remove them,&quot; it added.</p>  <p>- Loopholes</p>  <p>Supporters of the terrorist group are known for their attacks on Turkish workplaces and mosques across Europe.</p>  <p>Although the group is banned in the U.K., the police have tolerated activities by its supporters, including rallies.</p>  <p>In 2016 rallies, two young Turkish citizens were attacked, a policeman was injured, and some members of the general public were harassed by PKK supporters.</p>  <p>London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year said that the PKK terrorist group takes advantage of loopholes in the U.K. to prevent counter-measures by the Metropolitan Police.</p>  <p>Speaking to Anadolu Agency in 2018, Khan said the loopholes that allow occasional demonstrations to be held by PKK supporters in the U.K. capital are not acceptable, adding that the Metropolitan Police ought to act against any banned organizations.</p>  <p>“I think it’s very important for the government and the home secretary to close those loopholes,” Khan said.</p>  <p>The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.</p>  <p>The YPG/PYD is its Syrian branch.</p>  <p> 

PKK supporters try to raid TRT World’s London office

            By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>  <p>LONDON (AA) – A group of 50 PKK sympathizers invaded a building in London late Wednesday where the offices of Turkish international news channel TRT World are located.</p>  <p>The group hung a poster in the lobby of Abdullah Ocalan, the convicted leader of the terrorist organization, and waved a flag with his picture on it.</p>  <p>British police emptied the lobby after about an hour and took security measures around the building.</p>  <p> No TRT employees were harmed and its offices were not damaged during the incident.</p>  <p>Supporters of the terrorist organization are known for their attacks on Turkish workplaces and mosques across Europe.</p>  <p>Although the organization is banned in the U.K., the police have tolerated activities by its supporters, including rallies.</p>  <p>London’s Metropolitan Police have failed to stop the display of PKK symbols and posters of Ocalan during the rallies even though it is forbidden to carry symbols of banned organizations.</p>  <p>The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.</p>  <p> 

Photograph artist Ara Guler's works explained in London

             By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – Described as one of the best photographers of the world, the late Turkish-Armenian artist Ara Guler’s photographs reflected a “lyric or poetic realism", a panel held in London heard on Wednesday.

Professor Hasan Bulent Kahraman explained the master’s works in a panel held in Saatchi Gallery, where Guler’s selected works are currently on display.

Kahraman said Guler had waited for hours to capture the moment while taking his photos.

“I do not remember a moment that Ara Guler did not think about photography or talk about art and culture,” Kahraman said.

The panel, titled The Magic of Ara Guler, was attended by many art lovers, as well as Turkey’s Ambassador in London Umit Yalcin.

Kahraman pointed out that Guler described himself as a photojournalist rather than an artist and “the job of a photojournalist is to show how the time flowed rather than to stop it.”

Underlining that Guler took the portrait photos of prominent figures of the 20th century, including Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Alfred Hitchcock, Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill, Kahraman said Guler’s portraits tell human stories.

He described Guler’s photography as “lyric or poetic realism”.

Kahraman said: “I can say that Ara Guler, as a photojournalist, tried to capture the subjective part of events and history.

“He tried to make us an eyewitness to an event that took place in a specific time slice and in a specific location. Beyond all impartiality the photograph presents, he always created his work with poetry, romanticism, melancholy and leucism.”

The panel was held in relation to an exhibition featuring the works of Guler which was opened Tuesday in London.

The Ara Guler Photography Exhibition has been curated by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey in collaboration with Dogus Group and the Ara Guler Museum Archives and Research Center.

Britain’s Europe Minister Alan Duncan and Turkey’s Yalcin inaugurated the exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London’s famous art venue.

Following the exhibition in London, Guler's work, hailed by the British Journal of Photography as one of the seven greatest photographers in the world, will be exhibited in Paris, Kyoto, New York, Rome and Mogadishu.

In a booklet distributed at the exhibition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Guler as a “great photographer”.

He wrote that “Great minds live on by the masterworks they leave behind.

“Ara Guler was a great photographer who spent his life behind the visor of his camera, through which he rendered the world, life and objects he shot.

“Although he insisted on being called ‘merely a photojournalist’ instead of an ‘artist’, with his great works at hand, he is an artist for us and for the world,” Erdogan said.

– Who is Ara Guler?

Guler was born in Istanbul in 1928. Throughout his life, he was a significant global representative of Turkey's creative photography.

He worked as a Near East photojournalist for Time Life magazine in 1956, for Paris Match in 1958 and also for the German magazine Stern. Magnum Photos also published Guler's photos globally, and in 1961, he became the first Turkish member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP).

In 1962, Guler was awarded with the Master of Leica title in Germany and featured in a special issue of Swiss Camera magazine, one of the world's leading photography publications.

He also photographed the images for Lord Kinross' “Hagia Sophia” book published in 1971 and the cover photo for "Picasso: Métamorphose et Unité" published by Skira Books to celebrate Spanish artist Pablo Picasso's 90th birthday.

His images on art and art history were published by Time Life, Horizon, Newsweek and Skira Publishing House.

Guler's photographs of famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan's buildings were published in a book titled "Sinan: Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent" in France in 1992 by Editions Arthaud and in the U.S. and U.K. by Thames&Hudson Publications.

In 2002, he was awarded with the “Légion d'honneur: Officier des Arts et des Lettres" by the French government, and in 2009, he received "La Médaille de la Ville de Paris" from the Paris Municipality.

Guler was presented the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2005, the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Culture and Arts Service Award in 2008, the Turkish Grand National Assembly Superior Service Award in 2009, the U.S. Lucie Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2011.

He passed away on Oct. 17, 2018 at the age of 90.

London Turkish Film Week starts to meet audience

             By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal </p>    <p>LONDON (AA) - The second London Turkish Film Week presenting selected films to cinema lovers has started on Wednesday.</p>    <p>Throughout the week, most recent Turkish feature films, box-office hits and festival prize-winners will be screened in various venues including King’s College, the School of Oriental Studies (SOAS), European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) cinema and the organizer Yunus Emre Institute.</p>    <p>Let the Kid Play, Guardian of Angels, Cicero, Yellow Heat, Yozgat Blues, Brothers, Halef and Turkish Ice Cream are among the films to be shown during the week.</p>    <p>London Turkish Film Week is organized by Yunus Emre Institute and supported by Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Turkish Embassy in London, Regent Street Cinema, King’s College London, SOAS University of London, the EBRD, Turkish Airlines and Simit Sarayi.</p>    <p>The event will run through April 30.

Ara Guler exhibition opens in London

            By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal </p>  <p>LONDON (AA) – An exhibition featuring the works of the late Turkish-Armenian photographer Ara Guler opened Tuesday in London.</p>  <p>Guler’s works include his famous Istanbul photographs and portraits of prominent British figures such as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, film director Alfred Hitchcock and philosopher Bertrand Russell.</p>  <p>The exhibition of the works of Guler, hailed by the British Journal of Photography as one of the seven greatest photographers in the world, was established by the Turkish Presidency.</p>  <p>Britain’s Europe Minister Alan Duncan and Turkish Ambassador Umit Yalcin opened the exhibition at London’s famous art venue the Saatchi Gallery.</p>  <p>Duncan said he has a very simple rule as foreign minister.</p>  <p> “When asked to do something that shows links between the U.K. and Turkey, I immediately say ‘yes’.”</p>  <p>While underlining that Guler is one of the best photographers in the world, Duncan said Guler never thought of himself as an artist.</p>  <p>“He saw himself as a visual historian, as a photojournalist.</p>  <p>“He put the plight of his fellow men at the heart of his visual histories, particularly in his evocative black and white portraits of Istanbul; hustling and bustling in the age before the nasty motor car.”</p>  <p>Duncan said Istanbul, like London, is one of the great global cities that constantly change.</p>  <p>“Ara Guler captured its character, I think, absolutely and brilliantly,” he added.</p>  <p>Duncan said his last visit to Istanbul was in October for the opening of the new airport -- a modern venue reflecting the city’s true legacy.</p>  <p>Noting that it was meaningful to open such an exhibition on Turkey’s Children’s Day, Duncan said he believed Guler’s photography would inspire future generations.</p>  <p>The Ara Guler Photography Exhibition has been curated by the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey in collaboration with Dogus Group and the Ara Guler Museum Archives and Research Center.</p>  <p>Following the exhibition in London, Guler's work will be exhibited in Paris, Kyoto, New York, Rome and Mogadishu. </p>  <p>In a booklet distributed at the exhibition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Guler as a “great photographer”.</p>  <p>He wrote that “Great minds live on by the masterworks they leave behind.</p>  <p>“Ara Guler was a great photographer who spent his life behind the visor of his camera, through which he rendered the world, life and objects he shot.</p>  <p>“Although he insisted on being called ‘merely a photojournalist’ instead of an ‘artist’, with his great works at hand, he is an artist for us and for the world.”</p>  <p>- Who is Ara Guler?</p>  <p>Ara Guler was born in Istanbul in 1928. Throughout his life, he was a significant global representative of Turkey's creative photography. He worked as a Near East photojournalist for Time-Life magazine in 1956, for Paris Match in 1958 and also Stern magazine. Magnum Photos also published Guler's photos globally, and in 1961, he became the first Turkish member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP). </p>  <p>In 1962, he was awarded the Master of Leica title in Germany and was featured in a special issue of Swiss Camera magazine, one of the world's leading photography publications. Guler also photographed the images for Lord Kinross' “Hagia Sophia” book published in 1971 and the cover photo for &quot;Picasso: Métamorphose et Unité&quot; published by Skira Books to celebrate Spanish artist Pablo Picasso's 90th birthday. </p>  <p>His images on art and art history were published by Time-Life, Horizon, Newsweek and Skira Publishing House. </p>  <p>Guler's photographs of famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan's buildings were published in a book titled &quot;Sinan: Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent&quot; in France in 1992 by Edition Arthaud Publications and in the U.S. and U.K. by Thames &amp; Hudson Publications. </p>  <p>In 2002, he was awarded the “Légion d'honneur: Officier des Arts et des Lettres&quot; by the French government, and in 2009, he received &quot;La Médaille de la Ville de Paris&quot; from the Paris Municipality. </p>  <p>Guler was presented the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2005, the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Culture and Arts Service Award in 2008, the Turkish Grand National Assembly Superior Service Award in 2009, the U.S. Lucie Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2011. </p>  <p>He passed away on Oct. 17, 2018 at the age of 90.</p>  <p> 

Turkish First lady Emine Erdogan gets Changemaker award

                              By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>  <p>LONDON (AA) - Turkey’s first lady Emine Erdogan received recognition on Wednesday for her “exceptional efforts of inspiring leaders, innovative initiatives and partnerships who have provided smart solutions for global challenges.”</p>  <p>Erdogan, the wife of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was presented the “Changemaker” award at the World Humanitarian Forum, which is being held in London.</p>  <p>“I accept this award on behalf of the generous Turkish people whose hearts ache when they see a child in tears, and who regard a foreigner as a godsent guest rather than with suspicion,” Erdogan said in her acceptance speech.</p>  <p>“I take great pride in the fact that my country is remembered with the egalitarian and inclusive approach it has adopted in dressing the wounds of the world,&quot; she said.</p>  <p>Erdogan told the forum that the “history is full of wars, disasters, tears and blood”.</p>  <p>“While some parts of the world are thirsty for peace, trust and stability, the other half does not even realize that it is humanity that is falling off the face of the earth,” she said.</p>  <p>“Unfortunately, the world we live in is going through major humanitarian crises despite all claims of development and civilization of the 21st century,” she added.</p>  <p>“Against such a background, our duty as individuals and societies is to choose to side with the good or the evil.”</p>  <p> </p>  <p> </p>  <p>- Most generous nation</p>  <p>Explaining Turkey’s humanitarian aid programs, Emine Erdogan said Turkey is “referred to as the most generous country of the world with our governmental institutions as well as our civil society organizations.”</p>  <p>She said Turkey is “currently the biggest humanitarian donor of the world considering the ratio of its humanitarian aid to gross national product.”</p>  <p>“This stance is integral to the proactive Turkish foreign policy, supporting peace and stability across the world,” she added.</p>  <p>Giving details of humanitarian efforts by Turkish agencies around the globe, Erdogan said “humanitarian assistance for Turkey is not limited to just boxes with humanitarian aid, dispatched in emergencies.”</p>  <p>“It is the belief in global justice that goes beyond all political calculations,” she said.</p>  <p>She said: “It is a conscientious act that is a far cry from the colonialist mindset, one that will eliminate dependencies of those who receive it.</p>  <p>“Humanitarian assistance is always based on preserving human dignity.”</p>  <p> </p>  <p>- Syria and beyond</p>  <p>Erdogan said Turkey has been “the biggest host of people displaced due to the Syrian war that has been going on since 2011.”</p>  <p>“With our open-door policy, we unconditionally welcomed people who were running from weapons into our land,” she said.</p>  <p>“It was a requirement of [our] neighborhood. We adopted a policy of non-refoulement for all Syrians,” she added, referring to Turkey refusing to return asylum seeker to countries where they fear persecution.</p>  <p>She underlined that the “aid we offer to refugees is delivered ‘based on their own preferences and in a dignified manner’.”</p>  <p>  <p>Erdogan said: “International institutions, notably the United Nations, speak highly of our refugee camps.</p>  <p>“Those camps do not smell of garbage or sewage; there are no children freezing from cold, no muddy grounds or wet tents.”</p>  <p>She said: “Turkey has left traces of peace, trust and love in Afghanistan, Mongolia, Chad, Egypt, Yemen, Haiti, and scores of other countries, way too many to count.</p>  <p>“Another issue we follow up closely is the persecution of Muslims in Rakhine [in Myanmar], which I personally went to see, and which shook me to the core.</p>  <p>“Besides the construction of 2,070 bamboo houses, the ongoing project for building 2,500 houses in the region is our gift to humanity.”</p>  <p> </p>  <p>- Africa</p>  <p>Emine Erdogan said Africa “constitutes a chapter in and of itself for us.”</p>  <p>She said numerous projects are underway in vocational education, administrative and civilian infrastructure, healthcare, and the development of agricultural and animal husbandry sectors across the continent.</p>  <p>“Total assistance delivered to the African continent by our country between 2010 and 2017 exceeded $2 billion,” she said.</p>  <p>Emine Erdogan left for Turkey Wednesday evening.

London climate protests: Police make nearly 300 arrests

             By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>    <p>LONDON (AA) - The number of arrests in ongoing road blockages by environmentalist protesters has risen to roughly 300 in London, the Metropolitan Police said Wednesday.</p>    <p>The updated number by police came after more than 200 arrests as the protest brought London to a standstill with some roads in the city blocked since Monday morning. </p>  <p>London's Metropolitan Police issued a public order condition as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to.</p>    <p>&quot;The same condition has been implemented to those in the Oxford Circus area,&quot; police said.</p>    <p>The condition has since been “extended for a further three days.”</p>    <p>“In order to impose this condition, the Met required evidence that serious disruption was being caused to communities in London,” police said.</p>    <p>Updating the number of arrests as 290 in a new statement, police asked all protesters to move to the Marble Arch area.</p>    <p>The protesters have blocked Waterloo Bridge, one of the main passages across River Thames, as well as Marble Arch and Oxford Circus areas in central London.</p>    <p>Similar protests are being reported in various other cities across the U.K., including Glasgow and Nottingham.</p>    <p>Meanwhile, the Extinction Rebellion, a grassroots activist movement organizing the protests, said in a statement that they would disrupt London’s rail and metro services on Wednesday.</p>    <p>They said they plan to continue the protests throughout the week.</p>    <p>The protesters are demanding the government to declare a state of &quot;climate emergency&quot; and ask for reforms &quot;to address climate change as an educational priority&quot;.

UPDATE – Police arrest more than 200 protesters in London

                UPDATES WITH MORE ARRESTS; CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – The U.K. police on Tuesday said they have arrested 209 climate change protesters since Monday evening.

The updated number by police came after more than a 100 overnight arrests as the protest brought London to a standstill with some roads in the city blocked since Monday morning.

London Metropolitan Police issued a public order act as of Monday evening, which means that protesters should leave the scene when they are asked to. "The same condition has been implemented to those in the Oxford Circus area," police said.

“The Metropolitan Police Service is currently dealing with a number of demonstrations taking place across London," Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said in an earlier statement.

“We have officers out on the ground engaging with protestors and local communities to ensure proportionate policing plans are in place,” Wingrove said.

“We need to ensure we are striking the right balance between allowing the right to a peaceful protest, while ensuring disruption to communities is kept to a minimum,” he added.

The protesters have blocked Waterloo Bridge, one of the main passages across River Thames as well as Marble Arch and Oxford Circus areas in central London.

The organizers, Extinction Rebellion, a grassroots activist movement, have said they plan to continue the protests throughout the week.

The protesters are demanding the government to declare a state of "climate emergency" and reforms "to address climate change as an educational priority".

Thousands of climate protesters block London roads

             By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal<br>

LONDON (AA) – Thousands of climate change activists have blocked main roads in London on Monday in a bid to protest government inaction over rising global climate and ecological crisis.

The protesters blocked Waterloo Bridge, one of the main passages across River Thames under heavy police presence.

The rallies are also being held in Marble Arch and Oxford Circus, other hotspots in the British capital.

The organizers, Extinction Rebellion, a grassroots activist movement, have said they planned to continue the protests throughout the week, "each day thousands of people will sit down in the roads of central London."

The protesters are demanding the government to declare a state of "climate emergency" and reforms "to address climate change as an educational priority".

The rallies came after a recent UN report warned that limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which climate impacts become increasingly severe, requires unprecedented action, including cutting global carbon dioxide emissions by almost half within 12 years.

The UN outlined in its report this March that disastrous prospects are inevitable if countries fail to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming.

The growing number of natural disasters and dangers linked to climate change represents "another strong wake-up call" to the world, which must be countered by finding sustainable solutions quickly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the launch of the report.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the start of 2019 has seen record warm winter temperatures in Europe, unusual cold in North America, and searing heat waves in Australia.

The extent of ice in the Arctic and Antarctica is yet again well below average, according to the WMO.

The organization also forecast above-average sea surface temperatures, which are expected to lead to above-normal land temperature, particularly in tropical latitudes, through May.

Historian locates William Shakespeare's London house

                              <p>By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal </p>  <p>LONDON (AA) – A researcher has identified the address where famed playwright William Shakespeare lived for a time in the British capital.</p>  <p>Theatre historian Geoffrey Marsh cross-referenced various pieces of evidence to locate the exact address Shakespeare lived in London between 1597 and 1598, according to a report by the BBC.</p>  <p>Marsh, who spent a decade doing the research, says the bard lived at what is now known as 35 Great St Helen's -- a site next to St Helen's Church, in Bishopsgate.</p>  <p>According to the research, Shakespeare lived at that address while he was writing Romeo and Juliet, his tale of star-crossed lovers, but now an office block stands there.</p>  <p>Marsh, director of theatre and performing arts for the Victoria and Albert Museum, told the BBC that the place where the bard lived in London “gives us a more profound understanding of the inspirations for his work and life.”</p>  <p>&quot;Within a few years of migrating to London from Stratford, he was living in one of the wealthiest parishes in the city, alongside powerful public figures, wealthy international merchants, society doctors, and expert musicians,” he said.</p>  <p>Marsh added: &quot;The merchants had connections across Europe and the doctors were linked to the latest progressive thinking in universities in Italy and Germany.</p>  <p>&quot;Living in what was one of the power locales of London would have also enhanced Shakespeare's status as he developed his career, sought a family coat of arms, and planned to buy an impressive and expensive house in Stratford.&quot;</p>  <p>Shakespeare, widely hailed as the finest writer in the English language, wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets between 1590 and 1613.</p>  <p>He is believed to had lived in London from around 1585 to around 1612.</p>