Turkish press review

July 12, 2012, Thursday/ 14:11:00

On Thursday Turkish dailies covered a traffic jam caused by maintenance on İstanbul's Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, developments in an investigation into the downing of a Turkish military plane by Syria, and the 17th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre and a memorial ceremony for the victims.

Several Turkish dailies have reported on maintenance work on the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge that has caused heavy traffic jams, stranding drivers for hours. The Milliyet daily said the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality has even set up a crisis management center in order to help reduce traffic as much as possible. The daily added that the bridge was calm in the early morning hours of Thursday. The bridge, one of two that link İstanbul's Asian and European sides, has been undergoing maintenance for the past 23 days.

“Plane puzzle,” read a Zaman daily headline regarding an investigation into the downing of a Turkish military reconnaissance plane on June 22. According to a statement released by the Turkish General Staff, no traces of flammable materials, natural or synthetic explosives or ammunition have been found in the wreckage of the plan that has been retrieved so far. “So how did this jet come down then?” the Radikal daily's headline asked, saying the General Staff has added a new dimension to the debate by using the phrase “the Turkish jet, which Syrian officials alleged they shot down.” The daily cited Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as saying the Turkish jet was shot down 13 miles off the cost of Syria and immediately lost altitude and speed after getting hit and crashed into the sea some 8.5 miles off the Syrian coast. “Once all the parts of the jet come out, we will see if it was a

missile or anti-aircraft gun,” Erdoğan said, according to the daily.

The Cumhuriyet daily ran a headline that read “Genocide was cursed” and the Zaman daily printed a story under the title “Srebrenica pain still alive after 17 years” regarding the Srebrenica massacre and a memorial ceremony which took place at Potocari Memorial Cemetery on Wednesday. More than 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were massacred in Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia on July 11, 1995. Following formal ceremonies, 520 coffins were laid to rest in the cemetery. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ represented Turkey at the ceremony. He said, “Srebrenica is the place where racism and remorselessness turned into brutality.”