Turkish dailies mostly covered in their Tuesday issues Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's statements regarding the downing of Turkish military plane, the release of Fenerbahce sports club's chairman Aziz Yildirim from the prison, Turkish economy's growth figures for the first quarter of 2012, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's visit to Egypt.
Syrian President al-Assad, who spoke to Cumhuriyet daily, expressed his regrets over crashing a Turkish military plane. Al-Assad, who made statements for the first time about the crash of Turkish plane, said that they downed a Turkish F4 reconnaissance plane by an anti-aircraft battery in Syrian airspace. When asked why they hit an unarmed plane, al-Assad said, "the Turkish plane was using the air corridor which was frequently used by Israeli planes. We did not see it on the radar and we were not informed about the plane, thus, soldiers crashed it. We learned the plane belongs to Turkey after we crashed it." Noting that Syria would have apologized to Turkey, if it had downed the plane in international airspace, al-Assad said that Syria fully regretted crashing the Turkish plane. Also commenting on Geneva document, al-Assad said, "the document does not mention an external intervention, and it expresses respect towards Syrian people's decision which are enough for me."
All newspapers wrote the release of Fenerbahce's Chairman Yildirim from prison. Istanbul's 16th Criminal Court, on Monday, released Yildirim who had been kept in prison for the past year under a match-fixing case. The court, however, sentenced Yildirim to 2.5 years in prison for the crime of establishing an illegal organization and 3 years, 9 months under match-fixing and incentive bonus charges for a total of 6 years and 3 months. Fenerbahce fans rushed in front of Metris Prison to welcome Yildirim. He was able to depart from the prison after waiting for half an hour due to crowd. Meanwhile, Yildirim, who spoke to Hurriyet daily, said that there was no such beautiful thing like freedom, adding that he would begin working after resting a week.
Turkish economy's growth figures was also another topic in the newspapers. Turkish economy grew 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012. According to TurkStat, the first quarter growth rate of gross domestic product in 2012 increased 3.2 percent in constant prices when compared to the first quarter of 2011. Also, the first quarter growth rate of gross domestic product in 2012 increased 14.2 percent and reached 329 billion Turkish lira in current prices. The first quarter growth rate of gross domestic product in 2012 increased 3.2 percent and reached 27 billion Turkish lira in constant prices. Highest growth rate was recorded in energy sector with 8.4 percent. Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said that the figures were not surprising for him.
Another topic in the newspapers was Foreign Minister Davutoglu's visit to Egypt. Davutoglu became the first foreign minister who visited Egypt after Mohammad Mursi undertook the presidency of the country. Davutgolu also attended the meeting of Syrian opponents. He said, "Turkey took the biggest risk in Egypt, not in Syria. Turkey, while nobody was seeing, made an important prediction, and supported Egyptian people."
'I find this Russian statement laughable... rather it is Russia that is currently engaged in an invasion of Syria,' Turkish president says
Plan includes 'comprehensive democratic reform', greater powers for local administrations and economic measures
Erdogan says Syrians will continue to flee country unless Russian and regime airstrikes cease
Leaders of governments, NGOs and members of civil society met in London on Thursday to raise funds for those affected by crisis in Syria
MPs from all parties meet to reform Turkey’s military-era constitution
‘We have to be shoulder to shoulder against those who are committing war crimes,’ PM Davutoglu says at Syria Donors Conference in London
Turkey recalled its ambassador in April last year, days away from the 100th anniversary of what the pope described as 'the first genocide of the 20th century'
'An agreement could not be reached on the itinerary for the reconnaissance flight requested by the Russian Federation for 2-5 February 2016,' foreign ministry says
Premier Davutoglu identifies ISIL, PKK, far-left DHKP-C as threats to security
Turkey has decided to introduce a visa regime for Russian journalists starting February 15
Notes made my PKK leader Ocalan during peace talks have been published, in which he takes aim at the group who have armed themselves.
Meskhetian Turks -- who have faced repeated deportations and separations -- share their hopes for a better life in Turkey
Reduction will be between 13.3 and 15.8 percentage, Turkey's energy minister says
'Turkey has opened its doors without distinction to more than 2.5 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees. So far, the amount we have spent surpasses $9 billion,' Turkish president says
Senior minister refutes German media claim Ankara demanded extra 2 billion euros to tackle refugee crisis
Turkish ambassador to Canada says Turkey wants agreement ‘as soon as possible’