Turkish press review

June 21, 2012, Thursday/ 13:16:00

On Thursday Turkish dailies covered a military funeral for eight Turkish soldiers killed in a clash with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), international credit rating agency Moody's upgrade for Turkish government bonds, the suspension of five police officers for beating a man and remarks by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz on Turkey.

“The tears of a top commander,” read a Hürriyet headline for a news report on the funeral of eight soldiers killed on Monday in a clash with the PKK in the southeastern province of Hakkari. The daily said “Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel couldn't keep his tears to himself” as caskets wrapped in Turkish flags were boarded onto two planes that would bring the soldiers' remains to their families. The Vatan daily reported that prior to the attack in Dağlıca, Hakkari, police and the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) had drafted 32 intelligence reports warning that groups of PKK militants had infiltrated the area and that their numbers had reached over 100. The Yeni Şafak daily said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would cut short his trip to Brazil and return to Turkey on Thursday night due to the Dağlıca attack.

The Milliyet daily ran a headline that read “Moody's raises our grade” for a story on an upgrade by international credit rating agency Moody's of Turkish government bonds. The agency raised the grade from BA2 to BA1, which is one notch below investment grade. “Looking ahead, an upgrade to an investment-grade rating will probably be dependent on Turkey becoming more resilient to balance-of-payment shocks,” the daily quoted Moody's Turkey specialist as saying.

The Cumhuriyet daily headlined a story on the suspension of five police officers after video footage emerged showing eight police beating a man in front of his family in İstanbul. The Interior Ministry said they have launched an investigation and that the officers in question have been suspended until the inquiry is complete.

“Turks now a superpower in the region,” the Türkiye daily said regarding remarks by former Israeli chief of General Staff and Vice Prime Minister Mofaz. “Everyone should realize that Turkey had become a super power in its region. We need to have strategic relations with Turkey as we did in the past,” the daily quoted Mofaz as saying during a panel discussion organized by US think-tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.