Turkish press review

May 31, 2012, Thursday/ 11:45:00

On Thursday Turkish dailies covered the expulsion of all Syrian diplomatic personnel from the Turkish capital; a Union of European Football Associations' (UEFA) ban of three Turkish football teams; the approval of legislation that bars Turkish Airlines (THY) personnel from going on to strike; Turkish government plans to introduce an amendment to  abortion law; and the death of a man due to pepper spray.

“We have sent them away all” read a Vatan daily headline regarding the expulsion of the Syrian chargé d'affaires and all Syrian diplomatic personnel from their embassy in Ankara. The daily added that a massacre in Syria's Houla, in which 108 people, including 50 children, were killed, has sparked widespread outrage, prompting numerous countries to expel Syrian diplomats. The United States, France, Britain and Germany have all ordered Syrian diplomats in their countries to leave. The daily also said Turkey gave Syrian diplomats a 72-hour deadline to leave the country.

“European shock,” read a Milliyet daily about the UEFA's suspension of three Turkish football teams from European competitions for the period of one year. A UEFA disciplinary committee banned Beşiktaş, Bursaspor and Gaziantepspor from European cups due to a “breach of UEFA regulations.”

The Sabah daily reported that Turkish Parliament approved a law on Wednesday that bars THY personnel from going on to strike. THY is state-run. “THY is a strategic institution. People would have to pay the cost of a strike,” the daily quoted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as saying.

The Hürriyet daily cited Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdağ as saying the government was set to introduce amendments to the existing law on abortion, including shortening the legal limit for abortion from 10 weeks to four weeks. “My personal stance is that abortion must be avoided unless a medical condition requires it,” the daily quoted Akdağ as saying.

The Cumhuriyet daily reported that a Çayan Birben died on Wednesday at hospital after being sprayed with pepper spray by police as he was trying to break up a street fight in the northwestern province of Yalova. The daily added that Birben had asthma and that he had warned police of his condition as they were trying to separate those fighting. Birben's family gathered outside the hospital in protest of the police's actions, but police in turn sprayed them with pepper spray and fired in the air to disperse them.