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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Turkish press gets bird flu jitters
Turkish press graphic

The confirmation that some Turkish poultry are carrying the lethal H5N1 bird flu virus sparks deep concern in the press.

Papers speak of a "crisis" and call for action and leadership, but above all for openness and honesty about the seriousness of the outbreak.

One commentator is also critical of the attitude of the agriculture minister, but another doubts whether most Turks will take bird flu seriously.

Haluk Sahin in Radikal

There is no need for panic, but there is a crisis. We must accept that there is a crisis and act accordingly. And this primarily requires a communication policy based on truth, openness and a modern approach... We know that, especially in Europe, there is a mentality which believes that Turkey may have a weakness [about being credible]. The way to prevent this requires the Ministry of Health and the government to behave openly and honestly and waste no time in announcing every sort of information about developments in Turkey to the world.

Gungor Mengi in Vatan

As it is not possible to require visas from migrating birds, places where they rest on the migration routes must be under constant watch and production in the poultry farms must be strictly controlled. For the first time, the government faces the test of a serious crisis. Leadership is needed now. Training people is more important even than providing medicine. Until the danger passes we want a state that takes action.

Erdal Safak in Sabah

Be afraid of the flu in human beings, not of bird flu. Because World Health Organization officials warn that the real danger of an epidemic will appear when these two viruses meet. The Ministry of Health must start a campaign of free flu vaccinations before winter comes, as the EU and the USA do.

Hikmet Cetinkaya in Cumhuriyet

Bird flu is on Turkey's agenda. The villagers do not hand over their poultry to officials, but kill and eat it. What did Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Mehdi Eker say? "I eat chicken, let everyone eat it!" The villagers believe the minister's words.

Serdar Turgut in Aksam

It is obvious that foreign countries, which try to create panic because of the danger of bird flu, do not know Turkey well enough. As Turks do not take serious events seriously enough, they are not affected by anything at all.

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