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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 12:02 GMT
Turkish press outrage at Agca release
Turkish press graphic

Newspapers in Turkey are angry at the release from jail in Istanbul of Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

But their outrage is directed at what they see as leniency towards Agca over another of his crimes - the 1979 murder of the editor-in-chief of the Milliyet newspaper, Abdi Ipekci.

A Milliyet commentary says Agca's release is intended to "intimidate the press", while another paper says Abdi Ipekci has been "killed for a second time".

MELIH ASIK IN MILLIYET

Mehmet Ali Agca, the assassin of Abdi Ipekci, is being released today. He was in prison in Italy for 19 years for attempting to kill the Pope; and only served five-and-a-half years in Turkey for two abductions and the murder of Abdi Ipekci. Leaving the Ipekci murder... in darkness is not just a sign of weakness. It is deliberate. On the one hand, it aims to intimidate the press; on the other hand, it means that, behind the trigger, there are intelligence agencies that are stronger than our attorneys-general.

ALI SIRMEN IN CUMHURIYET

12 January 2006 will be remembered in future as the date Mehmet Ali Agca got his 'freedom', and Abdi Ipekci was killed for the second time, this time by the system.

KORAY DUZGOREN IN YENI SAFAK

After being in prison for 25 years, 20 in Italian jails, Mehmet Ali Agca is being released... Nukhet Ipekci [Abdi Ipekci's daughter] says 'Agca is the murderer not only of my father, he is our [nation's] murderer', but this is incomplete. If she had said 'Agca is a tool who was appointed by someone at the heart of the state to be our murderer', the picture could be said to be more realistic.

OKTAY EKSI IN HURRIYET

Even if everybody - apart from his lawyer and the man himself - opposes it, the shameful murderer Mehmet Ali Agca may already be free while you are reading these lines. Because the officials multiplied, divided, added and subtracted... and decided that the time he spent in prison covers the punishment he got.

BEKIR COSKUN IN HURRIYET

They say that Agca... will be released as a result of benefiting from an amnesty. Of course he is being released... because the system needs him.

SEMIH IDIZ IN MILLIYET

'The EU [harmonization] laws' are on the one hand being used to discomfort intellectuals; on the other hand, they are being used to rescue our 'national murderers' like Mehmet Ali Agca, as Nukhet Ipekci has said.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




SEE ALSO:
Country profile: Turkey
15 Jan 01 |  Country profiles


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