ISTANBUL (AA) – Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Almost all newspapers on Tuesday reported on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's written statement on the occasion of Europe Day, May 9.
“Visa promise must be kept,” was VATAN’s headline, quoting Erdogan who said European Union membership was a strategic goal for Turkey.
Erdogan said that the EU should take a more decisive stance against terrorism, the newspaper reported.
“Warm message to the EU,” was HABERTURK’s headline, reporting that Erdogan released a “positive” message to the EU.
“I hope that the visa liberalization would help to relieve Turkey’s weariness which is caused due to being kept at the EU’s door for more than 50 years,” the newspaper wrote.
Last week, the European Commission proposed lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU’s Schengen zone.
However, among five remaining benchmarks for Turkey to address, the EU demanded a change in Ankara's legislation on terrorism in exchange for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens - a requirement Erdogan criticized.
Erdogan said last Friday that: “We will go our way; you [the EU] go yours”.
“Moderate messages on visa exemption,” was HURRIYET’s headline, while YENI SAFAK wrote: “EU should keep its promise”.
Turkish newspapers also heavily covered a visit by Erdogan to the construction site of Istanbul’s third bridge over the Bosphorus.
“Inspection on the mega project,” was HABERTURK’s headline, featuring a photo of Erdogan with enthusiastic workers.
The daily reported that Erdogan was on the site for around three hours.
Erdogan was accompanied by Transport Minister Binali Yildirim, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Turkish Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroglu and Environment Minister Fatma Guldemet Sari, the daily wrote.
Featuring a picture of Erdogan with the ministers as well as workers at the site, SABAH wrote that the first leg of the project would come into service in Feb. 2018.
Turkish dailies also covered a claim of a new refugee plan which EU members began discussing alternatives to the agreement amid fears it could collapse.
“Refugee camps in the [Greek] islands,” was MILLIYET’s headline, reporting that EU members were planning to open refugee registry centers on Greek islands in fear a March deal between the EU and Turkey would be suspended.
The March agreement between Turkey and the EU aims to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea, develop a mechanism for resettling Syrian refugees from Turkey to the EU and provide a six billion-euro ($6.8 billion) aid package for refugees in Turkey.
Citing German newspaper Bild, MILLIYET wrote that German sources had not confirmed the new plan.
“Europe’s island plan”, was HURRIYET’s headline, reporting on the purported Plan B.
HURRIYET, also citing Bild, claimed that EU members began discussing the alternative solution plans after Erdogan’s Friday remarks.
According to the new plan, the Greek islands would undertake the key role in the refugee crisis, not Turkey, the newspaper wrote.
Refugees would be kept there and ferry services to mainland Greece would be canceled to prevent refugees from leaving, the newspaper claimed.
HURRIYET wrote that the new plan would suggest the six billion euros, which was promised to Turkey, would be transferred to Greece.
In sports news, Turkish newspapers covered Istanbul side Besiktas’ possible championship victory.
“One point left before the happy ending,” was MILLIYET’s headline, reporting that only one point would be enough for Besiktas to be crowned winners of the Turkish Super Lig.
On Sunday, Besiktas beat Galatasaray in a critical derby match. Fenerbahce, second in the league, was defeated by another Istanbul side, Basaksehir, 2-1 on Monday.
“Besiktas are almost the champions,” YENI SAFAK wrote.