Turkish dailies on Thursday reported on Turkish authorities warning Belgium about attackers


World Bulletin / News Desk

Thursday’s newspapers mainly covered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks on the blasts in Brussels, which killed at least 31 people and left up to 300 others wounded.

“We deported, [then] warned,” was HURRIYET’s headline, which quoted Erdogan as saying: “One of the perpetrators of the Brussels attack is a person whom we detained in June 2015 in Gaziantep [southeastern Turkey] and deported”.

The daily reported that Erdogan criticized the Belgian government: “We informed the Brussels embassy of the deportation process of the attacker with a note on July 14, 2015."

“However, the Belgians released the attacker despite his deportation,” he said at a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis Wednesday in Ankara.

The paper also claimed that Turkish intelligence shared a suspects list, on which the two Brussels attackers figured, with European Union countries after Paris attacks.

MILLIYET wrote: “We caught, deported, [but] they released.”

The newspaper reported that Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the daily that Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, suicide bomber in the Brussels airport attack, had been arrested in Gaziantep, and that the Turkish government had sent related diplomatic notes to Belgium and the Netherlands.

The issue dominated other papers’ headlines as well.

SABAH and VATAN used same headline: "We caught, they released"; HABER TURK ran with "We informed Belgium, they released"; "We deported, Brussels released" was AKSAM’s headline while YENI SAFAK chose "We caught, we deported, Belgium released”.

HABER TURK claimed that Belgian bomber Ibrahim Bakraoui had been arrested in Turkey as police suspected he was a member of ISIL looking to cross into Syria.

The newspaper published side by side Bakraoui’s photo taken at Gaziantep police headquarters before his deportation from Turkey and a picture from CCTV footage of three suspected men with their luggage carts at the airport in Brussels before the explosions. The paper noted that the one in the middle was the deportee, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui.

MILLIYET wrote that Belgium was criticized for not taking sufficient security measures, despite U.S. intelligence warnings.

The paper also stated that Turkey is the only country in Europe where passengers have to go through security control before entering the airport and checking in their luggage.

Multiple bomb attacks hit Brussels, Belgium capital city - home to EU and NATO headquarters - on Tuesday. First two blasts occurred at Brussels airport in Zaventem, at around 8 a.m. local time (0700GMT), a third blast rocked the Maelbeek subway station an hour later.

At least 31 people died in the attacks and up to 300 people were injured, including 61 who are in intensive care, the Belgian Health Ministry said Wednesday.

In economics news, financial newspaper DUNYA ran the headline: "Payments to the government in tourism to be postponed one year.”

The daily claimed that the Turkish government has agreed to postpone some expenses of tourism businesses that legally occupy public domains.

The legislation contains rents and certain annual taxes; the businesses would pay first partial payment in September 2017 without any interest or additional cost, deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Mart 2016, 13:59