Turkish dailies on Thursday cover the death of the country's ninth president, Suleyman Demirel


World Bulletin / News Desk 

All Turkish dailies devoted their Thursday first pages to the death of the country's ninth president, Suleyman Demirel, who once escaped an assassination attempt and went through a military coup.

Demirel – one of Turkey’s most prominent center-right political figures – died of heart failure due to respiratory tract infection at the age of 91 late Tuesday night.

"Farewell to Father," was MILLIYET's headline.

Turkey will bid farewell to Demirel in a funeral ceremony with state honors on Friday in the capital Ankara, the paper said, adding that three days of national mourning began on Wednesday.

Following funeral prayers, Demirel's body will be taken to Isparta in southwestern Turkey, where he was born in 1924 into a peasant family.

"Suleyman Demirel, who left his mark on Turkish political history and contributed to the development process of our country, is among the important names of Turkish political history as a statesman and politician," VATAN quoted current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as saying.

The daily also reported on tributes from other politicians.

Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu said Demirel was a politician who would always be remembered for his unique style and services to Turkey during his long political life.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said Demirel was irreplaceable, while Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, said his fight for democracy would be remembered with admiration.

HURRIYET said Demirel’s motivations were "republic", "democracy" and "a great Turkey".

The paper also wrote: "Yesterday is yesterday, today is a day of sorrow," referring to one of Demirel's famous sayings – "Yesterday is yesterday, today is today," – which summed up his ability to maneuver pragmatically.

CUMHURIYET evaluated the pros and cons of his term.

He had a good memory and his knowledge of Turkey was deep, the paper said. Great investments and the development of major industry were the successes of his term, including the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul.

The country, however, went through financial bottlenecks, the paper said, adding that Demirel did not care much about investment in railway access.

The paper also wrote that while Demirel was either president or prime minister around 360 people in Turkey went missing after being detained for various reasons.

"End of a term," was YENI SAFAK’s headline, criticizing Demirel for not supporting the government of then-prime minister Necmettin Erbakan against the military during the February 28 1997 Military Memorandum – also known as the ‘post-modern coup’.

"His statement that 'They [students wearing headscarves] should go to Saudi Arabia,' was never forgotten," the paper said, referring to his stance on the issue following the February 28 Memorandum.

Demirel served as the country's prime minister seven times and was president from 1993 to 2000. With just over a decade in office as premier, he was Turkey’s third-longest serving prime minister after Turkey’s first premier, Ismet Inonu, and current president, Erdogan.

In other news, several dailies also covered latest statements by Prime Minister Davutoglu over the coalition possibilities following the country's June 7 general election.

Four parties which passed the 10 percent electoral threshold – the Justice and Development (AK) Party; the Republican People’s Party; the Nationalist Movement Party; and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party – could be forced to negotiate some form of coalition, as none of them won the needed majority to form a single-party government.

"Minority government is the last resort," SABAH quotes Davutoglu as saying, who said the first option for his AK Party was to form a coalition.

Speaking in a live television interview on Wednesday night, Davutoglu said they were ready to do all they could to establish a coalition government. He will pay a visit to all parties represented in the parliament, the paper said.

HABERTURK wrote that Davutoglu ruled out an offer by CHP leader Kilicdaroglu who, he said, asked for a system of premiership in rotation.

"This is against the law of the instrument," the paper quoted the premier as saying.

Turkey may have to go for an early election if no coalition government appears following negotiations between the parties.

Financial paper DUNYA covers a call by Turkish business leaders for new government talks.

"A coalition picture, one which suggests conciliation, has emerged from the election. We believe that an early election would lead to a loss of time. So, we wish for the forming of a government within the current parliamentary arithmetic,” the paper quotes Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) president, saying after a meeting with the prime minister.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Haziran 2015, 11:31