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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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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, MAY 8, 2008


In Today's Papers

Rehn: "Everyone Knows The AKP Is Not A Shari'a Regime"
Sabah, Milliyet, Zaman: In an interview last night with CNN Turk,
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn noted, "Everybody knows the
AKP is not trying to push Shari 'a Law." When asked about the AKP
closure case, Rehn pointed out, "The EU expects the judiciary to
reach a decision that is in line with EU values and standards."
When asked whether the EU would respect the Constitutional Court
decision, Rehn replied, "Respect for law is a basic European value.
The court ruling will be acceptable when the court fulfills its
duties in line with EU standards. At the same time, we know there
are provisions in the constitution that demand respect for
international agreements, which means respect for the European
Convention on Human Rights and the rulings of the European Court of
Human Rights. We expect respect for these provisions."

Important Messages from TGS Chief General Buyukanit
All papers: In response to journalists' questions during the
Israeli National Day reception yesterday, Chief of Turkish General
Staff (TGS) General Yasar Buyukanit responded harshly to EU
officials' criticisms concerning developments in Turkey. Buyukanit
emphasized, "Turkey can solve its problems and does not need the
advice of anyone else." He stressed that there should be no
polarization in Turkish society. When asked about the Kurdish
Regional Government of Iraq (KRG), General Buyukanit said "There has
been a positive change in the approach of the Massoud Barzani," who
is KRG president. Regarding claims that PKK leader Murat Karayilan
was killed during last week's air operations, Buyukanit noted, "No
names were mentioned. We hit some frequently used targets on Mount
Kandil. When we drop bombs we do not check identities." Buyukanit
added that Turkey gained "psychological supremacy in the fight
against the PKK and the results would come soon."

Inflation Tsunami Warning from UNDP Chair Kemal Dervis
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Vatan, Hurriyet and others:
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) President Kemal Dervis
told a conference in London, "Major economies' expansionist economic
policies seek to prevent gridlock in their own markets, but these
policies will lead to serious inflation and money supply problems in
developing market economies." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet gave
extensive, front page coverage to the issue with a headline
"Inflation Tsunami." Mainstream Sabah, Milliyet and Vatan report
that Dervis told the Financial Times, "Over the last year, poor
people on average have become 25 percent poorer. During the next
2-3 years, inflation will be a real problem and countries like
Turkey and Brazil will be hit by an inflation tsunami."

In a related report, liberal Radikal reports the UNDP urged Turkey
to take immediate action to formulate a policy do deal with the
challenges faced by the nation's youth. According to the UNDP's
"Youth in Turkey" report, five million of the twelve million youth
in Turkey are unemployed. Of those who are unemployed, one million
are searching for jobs, 300,000 have lost their hope for employment,
and 600,000 are physically handicapped and cannot work. Moreover,
2.2 million young women are "just sitting at home." The report also
described sexual discrimination regarding pressure to drop out of
school; female secondary school students are nine times more likely
than their male classmates to succumb to family pressure to drop out
of school.

DTP Members Meet with Talabani; Barzani Comments on Turkey-KRG
Relations
Sabah, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, Star: Papers report that DTP Deputy
Group Chairman Ahmet Turk and his delegation met with Iraqi
President Jalal Talabani in Suleymanie, northern Iraq. During the
meetings, President Talabani stressed, "The time to resolve issues
with weapons has ended." Papers speculate that the DTP delegation
asked Talabani to openly oppose future Turkish air strikes in
northern Iraq, but the delegation told the press they were in

ANKARA 00000891 002 OF 003


northern Iraq in order to, "Strengthen bilateral cooperation and
ties between Turkey and Iraq."

Meanwhile, Kurdistan TV in northern Iraq quoted KRG President
Massoud Barzani as saying, "the psychological barrier between the
PKK and Turkey has been lifted. New steps will be taken."

EDITORIAL OPINION: Medvedev, Russia's New President

"Will He Become Another Brezhnev?"
Faruk Akkan wrote in Islamist Zaman (5/8): "While Medvedev's
inaugural ceremony was splendid, it is unlikely that he will take
power away from Putin immediately. Given the fact that Putin
enjoyed enormous popular support until his last week as president,
it seems quite difficult for Medvedev. Putin has managed to
increase the power of the prime ministerial seat to the nearly the
same level as the Kremlin. According to a report by Levada, a
Russian survey company, two out of three people believe that Putin
will control Medvedev and thus will continue to rule the country.
Some observers, on the other hand, point out that Medvedev's future
is directly linked to the successful continuation of Putin-era
policies. Nevertheless, Putin will be actively engaged, especially
regarding foreign policy. There is even a possibility that
constitutional amendments will turn the Kremlin's presidency into a
symbolic position. That is one of many possibilities, because the
history of Russian leadership holds a unique place in history. For
example, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was appointed temporarily by
Communist Party and was only expected to serve for a short period.
However, he successfully stayed in the Kremlin for eighteen years."

"Politics Make for Strange Bedfellows"
Sedat Sertoglu wrote in mainstream Aksam (5/8): "Russia is beginning
to experience an odd friendship. Medvedev is the new president
onstage, but Putin stands by in the wings. Medvedev comes from a
legal background by education; thus the analogy can be made that
Mevedev practices yoga, while Putin practices judo. Medvedev's
inaugural ceremony was spectacular and he delivered an impressive
speech that highlighted the supremacy of law, human rights and
freedoms. However, it remains to be seen whether Medvedev can claim
his own territory at the Kremlin. That is the main question
regarding Russian politics. Will Putin be a shadow president, or
will Medvedev be able to take the stage by himself?"


TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- President Gul approved Social Security reforms and changes in
article 301 of the penal code. However, he vetoed the public
accountant law.

- CHP Deputy Haluk Koc was injured in a traffic accident in Ankara.

- Main opposition CHP filed a censure motion against PM Erdogan in
connection to police brutality during this year's May Day
celebrations.


Don Quixote's flag reads "CHP." From Islamist-oriented Zaman, May 8,
2008.


International News

- Clashes erupted in the Lebanese capital yesterday between
supporters of the western-backed government and those of
Hezbollah-led opposition.


ANKARA 00000891 003 OF 003


- The death toll in from the cyclone in Burma reaches 80,000.

- Medvedev was sworn in as Russia's new president.

- Clinton aides revel she lent herself $6.4 million to ailing
campaign in the last month.


From mainstream Sabah, May 8, 2008.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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