Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2007
In Today's Papers
All papers report the Diyarbakir Prosecutor's Office has initiated
an investigation into the remarks by Osman Baydemir, the Kurdish DTP
mayor of Diyarbakir, for accusing Prime Minister Erdogan and
Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker of "declaring war on Diyarbakir,"
saying he won't run away from a fight. Baydemir said there is
"negative discrimination" against the city, adding "Diyarbakir is a
fortress and cannot be conquered." Eker had said earlier the
municipal services are not good in Diyarbakir, adding municipality
functions should be entrusted to capable people.
Addressing the ruling AKP lawmakers in the parliament yesterday,
Erdogan categorically rejected the claims, stressing that his
government invested Turkish Lira 5.5 billion in the southeast.
Erdogan also warned against escalation of ethnic chauvinism and
manipulation of Turkish people's nationalistic feelings.
The nationalist MHP directed criticism against the government,
saying its soft stance on separatist terrorism had encouraged the
mayor to make such a statement. Diyarbakir MP Akin Birdal, a member
of the mainly Kurdish DTP, said Baydemir, as the mayor of
Diyarbakir, is showing his reaction to the fact that the city cannot
Liberal Radikal reports Baydemir accuses the AKP government of
blocking development projects in southeast Turkey. During a visit
to Diyarbakir in 2005, Erdogan was given a report on deadlocked
projects according to which municipalities in the region had secured
various international loans and donations for urbanization work.
Germany, for example, has agreed with Diyarbakir Municipality to
extend Euro 500,000 for a waste disposal management project, but the
State Planning Organization rejected the deal saying similar
projects could be carried out only with funds extended by the
state-owned IlBank. A Spain-sponsored project for the
rehabilitation of the Tigris Valley was also rejected by the State
Planning Organization because the project was not included in the
investment program for 2005. A Deutsche Bank-backed tram project
for Diyarbakir was also blocked by IlBank.
State Receivership to Sell Sabah, ATV
All papers report Ahmet Erturk, head of the Savings and Deposit
Insurance Fund (TMSF) said Tuesday an auction will be held November
7 in Istanbul for the sale of the Ciner Group-owned mass-circulation
newspaper Sabah and top-rated entertainment broadcaster ATV. Erturk
expects the sale to bring in between USD 1-1.5 billion.
A total of 73 assets were seized by TMSF from Ciner Group after
secret deals between the companies' previous owner Dinc Bilgin and
Ciner came to light. The sale is expected to shake up Turkey's
media sector dominated by the Dogan Group, which has 40 percent of
the advertising market in the country. Analysts said the auction
would bring strong interest from abroad as the advertising market in
Turkey is growing fast. In Turkey, a law restricts foreign
ownership of broadcasters to 25 percent, with no limit for print
Maliki Complains to Bush about Turkey
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak and
others report that during his visit to Iraq, President Bush met with
the Iraqi leaders President Talabani, Prime Minister al-Maliki and
the Sunni representative al-Hashimi in al-Anbar province. Maliki
complained to President Bush about Iranian and Turkish shelling of
northern Iraq, and also pointed to the Turkish military buildup
along the border, according to papers.
Ankara Forum to Open Office in Jerusalem
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports the sixth meeting of the Ankara
Forum, which brings together Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian
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businessmen, was held in East Jerusalem on Tuesday. Rifat
Hisarciklioglu, chairman of Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB) said
joint industrial zones creating new business opportunities in the
West Bank would be established. The Forum businessmen agreed to
open a permanent office in East Jerusalem. The Turkish delegation
paid a visit to President Shimon Peres and will meet Wednesday with
President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
American University in Northern Iraq
Mainstream Sabah reports an American University has been created in
the Kurdish city of Suleymaniye in northern Iraq which will begin
classes in its temporary facilities in October. The university will
be fully operational in 2009. President Talabani, in Suleymaniye
with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, donated USD 10 million whereas US
Congress will extend USD 40 million for the project.
Editorial Commentary on Iraq
Yilmaz Oztuna writes in the conservative-nationalist Turkiye: Who
would have thought that the situation in Iraq would be this bad?
What happened to the super power US's Greater Middle East Project?
This project will never be realized. The US has created an Iraq
worse than it was in Saddam's time. Hundreds and thousands of
people have died. The possibility that Iraq will be divided into
two or three is increasing . Trillions of dollars have been wasted.
The Muslim world's most sacred works of art have been looted and
destroyed. This is the general picture of Iraq, but, we should
evaluate the situation from the Pentagon and White House angle: The
US's first target was the oil reserves in the Middle East. They
managed to get a hold of the reserves in Iraq. The second aim was
to eliminate the three enemies of Israel: Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Iraq is eliminated. The third aim was to eliminate terrorism, but,
just to the contrary, all the efforts increased international
terrorism greatly. US determination to bring democracy to the
Middle East failed completely because it is not possible to have
democratic regimes in the Middle East except for in Turkey and
Israel. It is just natural that President Bush will be criticized.
Let us criticize but also not forget that we had many corrupt state
officials in our history too. Turks controlled not only Iraq but
the whole region for a thousand years but, thanks to corrupt people,
now we don't even have the right to talk about Iraq."
NTV (7 A.M.)
- British Foreign Secretary David Miliband arrived in Turkey Tuesday
to meet with President Gul, Prime Minister Erdogan, and Foreign
Minister Babacan. Following his talks in Ankara, Miliband will move
on to Istanbul for a conference at Bahcesehir University.
- Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders Talat and Papadopoulos will meet
Wednesday at the residence of Michael Moeller, UN Special
Representative for Cyprus.
- Former Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc has been nominated for the
post of Speaker of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Assembly.
- The Kurdish DTP has formed a special commission to examine
- Iraq's top court confirmed the death sentence for "Chemical Ali"
and two other aides of Saddam Hussein convicted of genocide of the
Kurds in 1988. They will be executed by hanging within 30 days.
- Sova, a respected Russian human rights group, says 38 people have
been murdered and over 300 injured in racist attacks in Russia.
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- The British government has privately issued a complaint with
regard to the Chinese-made weapons allegedly being used by Taliban
militants against the British troops in Afghanistan.
- German prosecutors say about 150 tons of rotten meat was sent from
Bavaria and used in Berlin to make Turkish-style kebabs.