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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002287

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DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2007


In Today's Papers

New Judicial Year Opens in Turkey
All papers report President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Koksal
Toptan and Prime Minister Erdogan as well as cabinet ministers
participated in a ceremony held Thursday on the occasion of the
opening of the new judicial year. Osman Arslan, Chief Judge of the
Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargitay,) said in opening remarks that
separatist terror "supported by overseas centers" still prevailed in
Turkey. "All countries have an obligation to take preemptive
measures to block transfer of their weapons to terrorist
organizations," said Arslan, emphasizing the failure to do so would
imply "clear support to the terrorists." Several papers comment
Arslan's remarks were a indirect referral to the US.

Also addressing the ceremony, Ozdemir Ozok, chairman of the Turkish
Bars' Union, criticized the fact that the AKP government's
constitutional amendment work has been carried out secretly. "We
hope that the draft will be made public soon. We want a
constitution which favors full independence, unity and
democratization, and one which does not deny the founding philosophy
and values of Turkey to be prepared under social compromise," said
Ozok.

Survey: Turks' Alienation Growing
All papers report the results of the German Marshall Fund's
"Transatlantic Trends Survey" shows Turks are distrustful of other
countries and that only 26 percent believe that the country will
enter the European Union. A majority of Turks, 54 percent, viewed
EU leadership as undesirable, a seven percent increase from 2006.
The survey found 74 percent of Turks considered US leadership in
world affairs undesirable and only 3 percent approved of President
Bush's handling of international policies. On a 100-point
thermometer scale, positive sentiments toward the US dropped to 11
from 20 degrees in 2006 and feelings toward the EU cooled to 26
degrees from 45. The survey also found Turkish support for NATO
declines, with only 35 percent seeing the alliance as essential to
Turkey's security, compared to 44 percent last year. Turks'
positive sentiments toward Iran also dropped to 30 degrees from 43.
Papers report the results revealed Turkey's growing isolation from
the East and West, with mainstream Sabah saying it "displays the
psychology of Turks: Turks don't like anyone and are negative to the
EU".

Turkish Suspect Arrested in Germany Linked to "Milli Gorus"
Cumhuriyet reports on its front page that Adem Y., a Turk arrested
in Germany alongside two other suspects for plotting attacks on the
US base in Ramstein and Frankfurt Airport, had ties with the
Germany-based "Milli Gorus" (National View) organization. The paper
also carries a report by the Department for Protection of German
Constitution which says 27,250 of 32,150 fundamentalist
organizations in Germany were of Turkish origin. The majority of
these organizations are members of Milli Gorus, and they also have
ties with the al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Milli Gorus
aims at creating Islamic regimes although they use moderate rhetoric
in meetings open to public, according to the report which sees the
radicalization of Islam as the gravest threat to security and
stability in Europe, says Cumhuriyet.

Syria Accuses Israel of Bombing its Territory
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Yeni Safak and others: Syrian news agency
SANA claimed that the Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace and
bombed deserted areas in Syria. Speaking to SANA, a Syrian military
spokesman said that Syrian air defenses opened fire on Israeli
planes which had entered Syrian airspace through the northern border
coming from the direction of the Mediterranean. Islamist oriented
Yeni Safak reports that Prime Minister Erdogan denied the
allegations that the Israeli war planes took off from a base in
Turkey.


ANKARA 00002287 002 OF 002


A Call from Ambassador Sensoy to Jewish Institutions in the US
Radikal and Sabah reported that Turkish Ambassador to the US Nabi
Sensoy called on all Jewish institutions in the US to support Turkey
in the Congress during the debates on Armenian Resolution and
prevent the draft passing the Congress.

Editorial Commentary on Iraq
Kubilay Celik writes in the nationalist Tercuman: "The most
discussed issue in the US Congress and among the public recently is
troop withdrawal from Iraq. It is almost certain that the US will
withdraw its troops from Iraq -- the main issue is when and how.
Some are concerned that the Iraqi people will suffer heavily from
the lack of authority after the withdrawal. Nevertheless, the fact
is that following the UK withdrawal, the US will withdraw too.
There are allegations that the US will not pull out of Iraq
completely, however, it is a well-known fact that the US, which
occupied Iraq in 2003, will leave a ruined Iraq behind it. In
short, the US will pull out of Iraq at the end but the civil war in
Iraq will never end. And President Bush's name will be registered
as the President who made the most mistakes in US history."

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin has rejected charges coming from
CHP leader Deniz Baykal that the new constitution would jeopardize
the interests of the Turkish Republic and gains secured with the
Lausanne Treaty.

- CHP expects around 100,000 activists and citizens to participate
in ceremonies to take place in Ataturk's Mausoleum on September 9 to
mark the party's 84th anniversary.

- Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is to attend the second day of the EU
foreign ministers meetings to be held in Portugal on September 7-8.


- Energy Minister Hilmi Guler expects the parliament to give
priority to pass legislation for construction of nuclear plants in
Turkey.

International News

- Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) called on Armenians
living in the US to exert pressure on US Congress members for the
approval of the Armenian genocide resolution.

- State Department Spokesman Tom Casey said in response to a
question about Turkey's prosecution of Patriarch Bartholomew I over
using the title "Ecumenical" that the US "would expect all countries
to fully respect international obligations to observe the religious
freedom and rights of all individuals."

- British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in Istanbul he was
visiting Turkey because terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda seek to
fracture the world along religious lines.

- Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has met Iraq's top Shiite cleric,
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to discuss a government crisis in
which nearly half his Cabinet has quit.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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