President Abdullah Gül has extended his condolences to the family and friends of veteranjournalist Mehmet Ali Birand following his death yesterday, saying he felt great sorrow for the loss.
“Mehmet Ali Birand was a respectedjournalist with his sui generis style, courage, frankness, and successful professional career. Birand, a symbolic figure of leadership in journalism, brought a breath of fresh air to the Turkish press with his columns, news programs, interviews, documentaries and books. We will always cherish his memory, and remember him with respect. I give my condolences to all of Turkey,” Gül said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also expressed his condolences to the legendary journalist’s family.
“The esteemed Birand was always appreciated by his readers and audience for his passion for his job. He will be always remembered as a distinguished and esteemedjournalist through the works he left behind,” Erdoğan said.
“We will always cherish the memory of Birand, who had a recognized career in both the print media and broadcasting. He broadened the horizons of the institutions he worked for,” Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek said.
“I felt a deep sorrow when I heard about the death of Birand, who was a leading name in the free press. He always wanted the people to be informed about the truth. I hope his dream will come true one day. I give my condolences to his family, the press world and all Turkey,” the Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, also expressed his condolences, saying it was “unfortunate that he [Birand] couldn’t live to see peace.” He also described Birand as a “symbol of free, independent, brave and objective journalism.”
“Birand was an exemplary figure in journalism; he was one of the greatest treasures of Turkey. His demise is a great loss for the Turkish press and our country,” Health Minister Recep Akdağ said.
Greece’s former prime minister, George Papandreou, also commented on Birand’s death, offering condolences to his family and friends.
“We lost a logical, humorous, loving voice today,” Papandreou said. “He was a friend of Greece, and he was a friend of mine. We will miss him dearly.”