Friday's dailies covered a meeting between Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan and Kurdish parliamentarians, the opening of a new police department to fight illicit drugs, the assassination of an Uzbek dissident in Istanbul and Besiktas’ victory against English team Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Europa League.
“Neither general amnesty nor self-determination,” STAR reported, writing that Deputy Prime Minister Akdogan rejected rumors that a draft roadmap to solve a long-standing conflict between the Turkish government and separatist Kurdish Workers' Party, or PKK, includes a general amnesty or a commitment to Kurdish self-determination.
“During the meeting, we did not discuss self-determination, a general amnesty nor a draft roadmap prepared by Imrali [where PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is jailed],” Akdogan tweeted. Akdogan is the deputy prime minister responsible for the “solution process.”
The Turkish government’s solution process was launched last year and aims to secure an end to the decades-long fight with the PKK, a conflict which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also rejected speculation on the PKK/government talks. “Amnesty and self-determination were not discussed,” HABERTURK reported, adding that Davutoglu said those issues were not on the table.
“The solution process will be harmed if we discuss those issues as if they are on the table,” Davutoglu said after meeting with his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi.
In another development, Davutoglu attended launch of a new police department to enhance the fight against illegal drugs on Thursday.
“Back-streets entrusted to police,” VATAN said. The narcotics department will have a mandate to arrest drug-dealers and to investigate drug-czars, according the daily. They will be on duty in 11 cities and mostly patrol outside schools. “Young people are entrusted to you,” MILLIYET said, adding that Davutoglu called on the new unit to act decisively against drug-dealers and look on young people as their own children.
“Now, an Uzbek assassinated,” ran YENI SAFAK’s front page, claiming that Uzbek intelligence has threatened Abdullah Buhari – a dissident against the Tashkent government. “Buhari was killed outside of the Ihsan Association. The suspect was arrested,” the daily reported. “He was receiving death threats during the last three months and was under close watch. A Chechen gunman fired his bullet at close range. Buhari lost his life at hospital,” the daily claimed.
HURRIYET reported on the same development and said Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district, the place where the Uzbek dissident was assassinated, also witnessed the murders of Chechen dissidents in the past. The daily claimed Buhari fled to Turkey 12 years ago and was a naturalized citizen.
Some dailies also reported Istanbul team Besiktas’ victory against English Premier League side Tottenham. “Black Eagles on top,” HURRIYET said. Besiktas defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in a game played at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium – which suffered from two power cuts during the match. The win took the Black Eagles to the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League competition.