Press roundup

February 09, 2009, Monday/ 15:06:00
Seasonal workers from eastern provinces have begun their yearly trek and have made a stop in fertile Çukurova in the southern province of Adana. They must contend with difficult conditions in order to make a living and support their lives there.

Zaman: "We survived, but half of our hearts were left in Palestine," read the main headline in the daily yesterday, which featured a photo of four Palestinian youths who had to leave their country due to the recent Israeli attacks. The Palestinians, who were brought to İstanbul by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay), said that weeks later they were able to eat meals. Their biggest concern is now the relatives they left behind; 18-year-old Şada Elküjük burst into tears while talking about his father and three brothers, who are now in Palestine. "All of a sudden we heard the sound of a bomb. When we went out of our house in fear, we noticed that a bomb struck our house. My brother was hit by a bomb fragment and was lying in blood," said Şada. The Palestinian youth said they wanted to return to their country as soon as possible, noting that Turkey has a very special place in the Middle East.

Star: A front-page story in the daily yesterday covered the reaction of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Republican People's Party's (CHP) recent move in support of Quran courses. Speaking at a meeting of his party in Ankara on Saturday, Erdoğan accused the CHP of abusing religion for its political interests. Erdoğan also suggested that labeling his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) as Islamist would be a show of disrespect both toward Islam and the AK Party. Using Islam as an adjective before a political party is insulting Islam, he said. He said the CHP's moves in support of religious freedom have always coincided with elections, the daily reported yesterday.

Sabah: In a headline yesterday, the daily reported that citizens in the Nazımiye district of Tunceli, where the Governor's Office distributed white goods to needy citizens, are afraid that their white goods will be taken back following a storm of debate. A heated debate emerged recently when the Tunceli Governor's Office distributed white goods to 3,300 needy families because many have interpreted the move as an attempt by the AK Party to win votes in the local elections. When the event made it into the newspapers, the citizens began to feel uneasy over whether their white goods would be taken back from them, reported the daily.