Turkish press review

February 06, 2012, Monday/ 11:35:00

On Monday Turkish dailies mostly covered Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's remarks regarding Syria and reports concerning nuclear bombs purported to be at İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana. Two dailies featured exclusive stories: one on the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) execution of its own members and the other on the results of a survey on the distribution of votes among political parties if an election were to be held today.

Most papers reported on Davutoğlu's remarks regarding Syria at the Munich Security Conference. The Yeni Şafak daily quoted Davutoğlu as saying Turkey had an ethical responsibility to protect the Syrian people and that Turkey would welcome all Syrians who fled oppression. The Türkiye daily also referred to Davutoğlu's remarks and wrote that UN sanctions against Syria had been vetoed by Russia and China. According to the paper, Davutoğlu said, “They have made that decision, but Turks and Arabs are paying the price.”

The Milliyet daily wrote a story on a letter written by American NGO Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and sent to Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta which questioned the presence of nuclear bombs at İncirlik Air Base in Turkey's south. According to the letter, there are 60-70 B61 nuclear bombs at İncirlik, and 50 of them are designed so that US jets can carry them. The problem is that Turkey rejects request from the US to send such jets to the base. POGO says the US would have to send jets from another base to retrieve the bomb in the case of a crisis and questions why bombs are being kept at İncirlik under such circumstances.

In an exclusive story, the Zaman daily reported that the PKK had executed members and then declared them “heroes.” The newspaper stated that a secret witness, who used the alias Kazim, testified to a specially authorized prosecutor and said Resul Altınok was killed for criticizing PKK head Abdullah Öcalan and was then declared a hero. The witness said: “They hung Altınok from the ceiling of a cave for days, and then they struck at his genitals. They made him dig his own grave, and they killed him with a single bullet.”

The Vatan daily featured another exclusive news piece. The paper printed a story on the results of an A&G survey on the distribution of votes among political parties if an election were to be held today. According to the survey, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) would win 54 percent of votes, and the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would both lose votes. The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) would win 8.2 percent of votes, according to the survey.