Turkish Press Review - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Majority of Tuesday’s newspapers cover aftermath of the Italian ferry blaze, bad weather conditions across Turkey and Mehmet Ali Agca’s deportation from Italy

Majority of Tuesday’s newspapers cover aftermath of the Italian ferry blaze, bad weather conditions across Turkey and Mehmet Ali Agca’s deportation from Italy

ISTANBUL - The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Tuesday’s papers focused on the aftermath of the Italian ferry blaze which left 10 people dead, bad weather conditions which disrupted life across Turkey plus the deportation from Italy of Mehmet Ali Agca – the man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981.

“It was like the Titanic disaster,” ran HURRIYET’s headline, referring to remarks by one of the rescued Turkish passengers from the stricken “Norman Atlantic” vessel. The paper ran a photo showing passengers being pulled to safety from the burning ferry by helicopters.

The death toll in the ferry fire in the Adriatic climbed to 10 on Monday as Italian official sources confirmed that more than 40 people were believed to be missing from the vessel.

SABAH’s front page reads: “Love trip turned into a nightmare.” The daily reported the story of Turkish passengers Ahmet Egilmez and his wife Gaye, who have been married for 35 years, saying that it was their first cruise trip together. Gaye Egilmez was rescued from the ferry but her husband’s whereabouts remain unknown.

It reported Gaye Egilmez saying: “I had stopped believing that I would be rescued from this hell alive.” Another Turkish traveller, Aylin Akamac, said: “It was like the Titanic film.”

“Rescue scandal,” was STAR’s headline. Aylin Yamac, one of the Turks onboard the ferry, claimed: “Italian and Greek teams rescued their own citizens first. They made Turks wait for hours. In order to get warm, we had to approach the fire,” the paper reported.

Strong winds and heavy rain, which have affected transportation and life in Turkey, was another news item dominating today’s headlines.

VATAN said: “Adriatic storm is in Turkey.” The daily said that the bad weather – which caused difficult conditions for rescuers in the “Norman Atlantic” disaster – had reached Turkey. Turkey will have a severe winter this year, according to weather experts, the paper noted.

It also reported that strong winds made a cargo carrier run aground off the Pendik district of Istanbul and an iron guardrail fall onto a car in the Kadikoy district. No fatalities were reported in both incidents.

AKSAM described the bad weather conditions as a “cold surprise in Marmara” while MILLIYET reported that an unidentified woman drowned after falling into the sea in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul.

Turkish papers also gave over their front pages to Mehmet Ali Agca who was expelled from Italy on Monday after entering the country without a visa. His deportation came after Agca placed flowers on tomb of Polish pontiff John Paul II, who Agca tried to assassinate in 1981.

“His Italy adventure ends with deportation,” SABAH said. “'I would go to Pentagon as well',” was VATAN’s title, quoting Agca.

In a statement made through his attorney, Mustafa Demirbag, Agca said: “I could not attend the funeral ceremony in 2006 as I was not allowed to go there. This time my aim was to pray and place flowers on his tomb.”

“If there is a need, I can go to the White House and Pentagon as well,” he added.

Agca, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy in July 1981, was pardoned by the then-Italian president, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in June 2000, years after Pope John Paul II said he had "sincerely forgiven" his would-be assassin.

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