Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008
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In Today's Papers
Controversial Sudanese Guest in Turkey
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak, Sabah, Vatan and others:
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's visit to Turkey is criticized by
many in the international community. Mainstream Vatan writes 'the
world's bloodiest dictator has come to Ankara.' At the joint press
conference following the presidents' meeting, President Gul said "we
want to solve the problem within the framework of Sudanese
sovereignty and territorial integrity, through peaceful means. We
will continue to give the necessary support to Sudan." President
Gul described the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in
Darfur as a "humanitarian drama" instead of using the term
'genocide.' Cumhuriyet and Hurriyet report the visit with a
headline 'world's most controversial leader is in Ankara.' The
Sudanese President will travel to Istanbul today to hold meetings
with Turkish and Sudanese businessmen.
Gungor Mengi comments in mainstream Vatan (1/22): "Sudanese
President Omar al-Bashir's previous requests to visit Turkey were
kindly declined by former president Sezer. Omar al-Bashir is held
responsible for the massacre of 200,000 people. He is considered
the bloodiest dictator in the world today. This very dictator was
in Turkey as an official guest of the president of Turkey. Once Gul
took over the presidency from Sezer, the composition of foreign
visitors changed. A close look at al-Bashir's past record makes the
situation even more interesting. He led a coup in 1989. Soon
after, he banned all political parties and declared Sheria law. He
declared a new constitution to limit the opposition's power and
launched a coup against the parliament when they criticized him.
All of this tells us one thing: al-Bashir is the kind of leader the
ruling AKP likes very much. It is good to keep in mind the old
Anatolian saying, 'crows fly with crows.'"
Mehmet Y. Yilmaz comments in mainstream Hurriyet (1/22): "Omar
al-Bashir is no ordinary guest. When the Sudanese President comes
to Turkey as an official guest of the Turkish president, it means he
is a guest of Turkish Republic. However, there is a problem here.
This guest is accused, by respected institutions around the world,
of genocide. He is held responsible for the deaths of 200,000
people and the displacement of more than 2 million people in Darfur.
Why and how can Omar al-Bashir enjoy official treatment here while
he is alienated internationally because of his crimes against
humanity? Let's bear in mind that al-Bashir also brought Islamist
fundamentalism and Sheria law to Sudan. I can't help but wonder if
this warm relationship between Presidents al-Bashir and Gul could be
based on a feeling of Islamic brotherhood?"
Parliament Speaker Toptan: "There is No Power Superior to
Sabah, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak, Zaman and others: In a press
conference, Parliamentary Speaker Koksal Toptan criticized
statements from Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, Chief Public Prosecutor of
Supreme Court and Council of State, about turban and said that "the
judiciary does not have the right to resist against the decisions
that the legislative power makes. No institution or person has the
right to put itself in parliament's place."
Intelligence Sharing with Israel to be Increased
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports that Israeli Defense Minister
Ehud Barak will come to Turkey in February to meet with Defense
Minister Vecdi Gonul. Diplomatic circles note that the purpose of
Barak's visit is to continue bilateral dialogue concerning defense.
Intelligence sharing, defense industry coordination, terrorism and
regional security is on the agenda of the meetings.
TGS Chief Buyukanit in London
Sabah, Milliyet, Vatan, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak: Chief of General
Staff (TGS) General Yasar Buyukanit met with his British counterpart
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General Richard Dannet yesterday in London. Their talks focused on
Turkish air operations against the PKK in northern Iraq. Mainstream
Sabah reports that around 200 PKK supporters in London staged
protests against the visit and the cross border operations.
Armenian Deputy FM Calls Turkey for Dialogue: In an interview with
nationalist-oriented Cumhuriyet, (January 20), Armenian Deputy
Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosian expressed hope for the
normalization of bilateral ties with Turkey. Emphasizing that
Armenia does not have any preconditions to the start a dialogue,
Kirakosian said Turkey and Armenia are capable of addressing a
series of issues. Regarding the Armenian Diaspora, the Deputy FM
said that Armenia does not have any power to exert pressure on the
Diaspora. He also added that the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
could be a proper forum for Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to
normalize their ties.
Greek PM Karamanlis to come to Turkey January 23
Sabah, Milliyet, Hurriyet: Greek PM Karamanlis will arrive in
Ankara tomorrow on an official visit. Hurriyet reports that
Karamanlis will visit Anitkabir, despite the objections of the
political right wing in his country. Milliyet reports that main
opposition party CHP leader Deniz Baykal will meet with Karamanlis
on Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel. Karamanlis will be received by
President Gul before he goes to Istanbul to meet with Fener Greek
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos.
Interior Minister Besir Atalay announced Turkey's population,
according to the latest census, is 70.5 million, which is 3.5
million lower than the 2000 census.
MHP proposed reducing military service requirements, for vocational
school graduates, from 15 months to nine months.
DTP officials in Adana announced that they will go to Gabar mountain
on February 4 to rally for a democratic settlement in the
CHP filed a complaint against Finance Minister Unakitan because he
did not appeal a court ruling related to the disbanded Welfare
Party's mission funds.
US Presidential candidate Barack Obama vowed to recognize Armenian
genocide charges if elected president.
The top US commander General Petraeus is being considered for the
position as the next head of NATO.
Stocks fell sharply worldwide Monday. This follows last week's Wall
Street declines, which were due in part to investor pessimism over
the Bush Administration's package for preventing recession.