Fresh controversy between President Erdogan and opposition leader Kilicdaroglu dominates Friday's front pages


World Bulletin / News Desk

Friday's dailies mainly covered ongoing controversy between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

On May 11, Kilicdaroglu said that a presidential system could not happen “without shedding blood,” during a speech at the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) in Ankara.

“We donate blood only to the Red Crescent,” was STAR’s headline, reporting that Erdogan slammed Kilicdaroglu’s remarks. 

“Only dictators and murderers shed blood,” Erdogan said, adding that the Turkish parliament and the nation will decide the fate of presidential system, according to STAR.

HURRIYET and MILLIYET reported that Erdogan harshly criticized Kilicdaroglu’s statement. “These remarks are a betrayal of the nation,” was HURRIYET’s headline.

“Civil war promoter,” run a headline on YENI SAFAK’s front page. The daily claimed that the nation slammed the opposition leader’s remarks.

“Common view is that ‘CHP leader is calling for civil war,’ ‘threat and blackmailing to the nation,’ and ‘longing for a coup d’état’,” YENI SAFAK wrote.

The daily also reported that Ankara Public Prosecutor's office launched an investigation into Kilicdaroglu for allegedly inciting people to commit crime.

The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has been drafting a new constitution that is expected to change the country’s parliamentary system into an executive presidential system.

Opposition parties, including the CHP, have been against such a change.

CHP leader Kilicdaroglu responded to criticisms of his speech.

“I am not afraid of prosecutors,” was MILLIYET’s headline, reporting that Kilicdaroglu said his remark was “crystal clear”.

HURRIYET reported that Kilicdaroglu had not budged against criticisms and gave examples from those people who paid the price for democracy, including former prime minister Adnan Menders who was hanged after Turkey’s 1960 military coup.

Today’s dailies also covered talks between the European Union and Turkey on visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.

“Revision is impossible,” was VATAN’s headline.

Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkir said Turkey could not revise its anti-terror laws, adding that Turkey has made enough efforts for visa liberation, according to VATAN.

Last week, the European Commission proposed visa-free travel for Turks as part of a deal which would also see Turkey stem the refugee flow to Europe in exchange for speeding up the candidate country’s EU membership.

However, among five remaining benchmarks for Turkey to address in order to receive visa freedom, the EU has required a change in Ankara's legislation on terrorism – a demand that President Erdogan has criticized and rejected.

“Turkey would give up on visa-free travel,” was YENI SAFAK’s headline while HABERTURK claimed that the European Union would introduce visa-free travel to Turkish citizens in October instead of June. 

Meanwhile, on May 13, 2014, an explosion and fire in the Soma mine in the western part of Turkey lead to the deaths of 301 men.

Some Turkish dailies covered the second anniversary of the blast on their front pages.

HURRIYET said: “Never forget us.”

The daily said agony among victims’ families has been vivid.

“Can we forget? But everybody else did so quickly. We are so lonely in that court house,” Senem Yildirim who lost his two sons in the tragic event, told HURRIYET.

Berkan Kose, who lost his father, said he wanted to become a deputy to revise laws on mining. “We are forgotten but the tragedy is still in my mind,” he was quoted as saying.

A terror attack in Istanbul and Diyarbakir on Thursday also appeared on dailies’ front pages.  

“The target was soldiers,” was CUMHURIYET’s headline.

CUMHURIYET reported that an explosion hit a military vehicle in the Sancaktepe area of Istanbul’s Asian side and nine people, including six soldiers, were injured.

The daily also reported that four people were killed in southeastern Diyarbakir province in an explosion.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2016, 10:54