Turkish Press Review

Turkish Press Review

Mass celebration on anniversary of Ottoman conquest of Istanbul dominates headlines of Turkish dailies Monday

ISTANBUL (AA) - Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Newspapers on Monday dedicated their front pages to the 563rd anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul, which was marked by mass celebrations in Turkey that saw the participation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

"Grandiose celebration," was MILLIYET's headline, reporting that hundreds of thousands of people attended the ceremony in Istanbul’s Yenikapi district on the European side.

According to the daily, around 9,000 police, five helicopters, three coast guard vessels and a submarine were on duty to provide security during the ceremony.

Nearly a million people attended Sunday’s celebrations after entering through 150 gates amid tight security.

A 563-strong janissary band team performed during the event, and the Turkish Air Force’s Turkish Stars aerobatics team also flew past Yenikapi.

HABERTURK covered the story with the headline: "563-year fire of conquest".

The paper quoted Erdogan as saying during the celebration that although Istanbul was conquered 563 years ago, threats to Turkey’s unity was not over yet.

"They want to avenge the conquest of Istanbul by using the terrorist group PKK," he said, alluding to the western world for using the PKK against Turkey and Turkish unity.

"Nobody is strong enough to separate us from our lands, from the region of Thrace, or from the Mediterranean, which we claimed after the conquest in 1453," the president added.

On May 29, 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II conquered Istanbul, then called Constantinople, from where the Byzantines had ruled the Eastern Roman Empire for more than 1,000 years. The conquest transformed the city, once the heart of the Byzantine realm, into the capital of the new Ottoman Empire.

In other news, Turkish newspapers covered the ongoing Iraqi operations to retake Daesh-held cities of Fallujah, Raqqa and Mosul.

VATAN ran with the headline: "Three-pronged siege". The paper reported that the Iran-backed Iraqi army had launched concurrent operations in three biggest cities held by the terrorist group, Daesh.

According to the daily, around 50,000 civilians remain trapped in Fallujah, where Daesh was using people as human shields against Iraqi army airstrikes.

On May 23, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the launch of a military campaign to retake control of Fallujah from Daesh with the participation of the Iraqi army, counter-terrorism units, the federal police, the Hashd al-Shaabi militia and tribal fighters.

Located along the Euphrates River about 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Baghdad, Fallujah – which fell to Daesh in early 2014 – is currently home to some 90,000 people.

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