Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO1864
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0982/01 1441147
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231147Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6378
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8906
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4253
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2951
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6623
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6453
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3031
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFISS/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFISS/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFISS/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFISS/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000982

SIPDIS

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
FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2008

In Today's Papers

Council of State Releases Statement Supporting Court of Appeals
Declaration
All news outlets report the Council of State (Danistay) released a
statement on Thursday to express its unease with the AKP
government's harsh response to the Court of Appeals (Yargitay)
declaration. The Council of State statement said the Court of
Appeals declaration released Wednesday against the ruling AKP
government was "not politically motivated." In addition, the
statement noted, "Top judicial institutions in Turkey have the right
to interfere in the process of constitutional and legal amendments
regarding the judiciary. We see this as part of our constitutional
responsibility to protect the basic principles of the Republic." The
statement also criticized the government for not discussing its
judicial reform strategy draft with the Turkish judiciary before
submitting the document to the EU. The court called such a move,
"out of line with the principles of independence."

Opposition far right MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said the Court of
Appeals declaration was a "righteous reaction." He urged President
Abdullah Gul to "take initiative to bring together the heads of
legislation and judiciary to end the crisis among the basic
institutions of the Republic."

Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak writes, "The Council of State's
announcement supports the Court of Appeals' attempts to influence
the AKP's closure case in the Constitutional Court," and claims the
statement was "Another act that damages the judiciary." Mainstream
Hurriyet writes, "The exchange of harsh statements signals a new
phase in the conflict between the AKP government and the judiciary,
and is likely to stoke tensions further." Tabloid Aksam criticizes
the statement, saying "The judiciary has violated the rule of not
commenting on ongoing cases." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet sees it
as "Big support" as "the Council of State, political parties and
lawyers back the Court of Appeals declaration." In "The Judiciary's
Memorandum Frenzy," leftist Taraf, lashes out at the "sister
statement" released in support of the Court of Appeals declaration.
Ahment Altan of Taraf calls the statement, "an indication of panic,"
in the judiciary and "those who embarrassed their own society with
coup attempts will be pushed outside of the system where they would
never gain back the respect they have lost." Cengiz Candar of
economic daily Referans wrote the statement, "harmed the public's
understanding that the Court of Appeals is an independent and
impartial institution." Taha Akyol of mainstream Millyet wrote,
"The independence of the judiciary should not be interpreted as
judicial oligarchy." Erdal Safak of mainstream Sabah noted this
incident proves judicial reform is "the most pressing issue." Ergun
Babahan of Sabah calls the institutional disputes, "the pangs of a
developing democracy." Ali Sirmen of Cumhuriyet calls the
statements "a judicial coup attempt," and Hikmet Bila of the same
paper notes, "The court should take sides in favor of the
constitution." Ihsan Dagi of Islamist-oriented Zaman writes, "A
group of supreme judges is trying to settle a score with the
national will and with democracy."

Editorial Commentary on Government-Judiciary Conflict

"Counter Statement"
Ahmet Hakan writes in mainstream Hurriyet (5/23): "I ask the nation
to evaluate yesterday's statement from the Court of Appeals
(Yargitay). Should state institutions negotiate with each other to
resolve their internal disputes? Or, should they issue public
statements, one after another, to force the public into their
disputes? What can the public do? Will they stop voting for the
AKP and instead vote for Yargitay? In that case, what will the
CHP's function be? Or, is it possible for the CHP to dissolve itself
and join Yargitay? Anyway, let's put all these questions aside and
try to be satisfied by complaining to the nation that these
institutions are forcing us to ask such nonsense questions. I leave

ANKARA 00000982 002 OF 003


it to the great Turkish nation to recognize that Yargitay's recent
statement could only be written by the main opposition party CHP.
The insane Yargitay has begun a secularist Jihad against the
religious government."

"Yargitay's Authority"
Melih Asik wrote in mainstream Milliyet (5/23): "Government
Spokesman Cemil Cicek declared, 'Yargitay doesn't have authority to
speak for the nation.' Why? Is there a rule that prohibits
Yargitay from issuing statements? If there is true democracy in this
country, then it is natural for the Court to warn the nation about
threats to the judiciary. If universities, intellectuals,
opposition parties and institutions protected the judiciary from the
government's attacks, Yargitay would not feel the need to issue such
a statement. The government's reaction to this statement was
nothing but a bouquet of rage. The AKP government has engaged in
"Operation Pressure," against the judiciary for months. AKP deputies
have urged the European Council to intervene in Turkey's judiciary.
The EU's third class officials have arrogantly talked down to the
Turkish judiciary. In turn, everyone in Turkey has been pressuring
the judiciary. Now, why are none of these activities declared
anti-democratic? Is this what you call democracy?"

"Yargitay Statement"
Tamer Korkmaz commented in Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak (5/23):
"The Yargitay statement proves the judiciary is politicized. This
statement has no judicial or legal binding. Yargitay stated their
initiative was in the name of the "status-quo," i.e. the shadow
government. The Yargitay wanted to influence the Constitutional
Court's decision regarding the AKP closure case. The latest efforts
from Yargitay and Danistay should not confuse anyone. It is
impossible for Turkey to go back to the days where the shadow
government ruled the country; the status-quo shadow government has
already lost its sovereignty in Turkey."

Babacan: Syria-Israel Peace Talks to Continue Periodically
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Foreign Minister Ali Babacan
said Thursday peace talks between Syria and Israel would "continue
periodically." Babacan described the indirect peace negotiations
between Syria and Israel, held in Istanbul under Turkey's
sponsorship, as "satisfactory" for the two sides. He told a joint
press conference with the visiting foreign minister of Burkina Faso
in Ankara a "common ground" had been reached and that this would
allow the negotiations to continue. Mainstream Sabah quotes Babacan
as saying the basic philosophy of the meetings was "peace for land"
or "land for peace." "The Israeli-Syrian leg of the Middle Eastern
peace process officially resumed after 13 years and the talks will
continue under Turkey's supervision," Babacan reportedly said.

Barzani Hopes Turkey-Iraq Official Talks to Continue
Milliyet, Sabah, Zaman and Cumhuriyet report Nechirvan Barzani, the
Prime Minister of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern
Iraq, said they would not allow terror organizations to use the
Iraqi territory for operations against Turkey. Barzani, who is
visiting Washington, told a group of Turkish journalists at the U.S.
Congress he hoped talks with Turkish officials held in Baghdad on
May 1 would continue. He stressed they would continue their
measures against the PKK. "Turkey's demand that Iraqi territory not
to be used against Turkey is a righteous one," said Barzani.

Meanwhile, leftist Taraf, nationalist-oriented Cumhuriyet and
liberal Radikal report, "KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani
attended a reception in Washington hosted by the U.S.-Kurdish
Friendship Group in the U.S. Congress." The newly formed caucus is
co-chaired by Tennessee Democrat Lincoln Davis and South Carolina
Republican Joe Wilson. Barzani highlighted that the group's
establishment was "an important event." Liberal Radikal points out
the reason for the U.S.-Kurdish Friendship, that the Kurds are "the
U.S.'s most loyal allies in Iraq."


ANKARA 00000982 003 OF 003


Turkey Joins Joint Strike Fighter Production
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports Turkish Parliament has
adopted Thursday a bill on approval of an international agreement
regarding Turkey's participation in production of Joint Strike
Fighter (JSF) warplanes. The law foresees that Turkey would become
a partner of a most important defense project worth USD 250 billion.
JSFs will replace F-4 and F-16 fighter jets which are to conclude
their technical lifespan by 2010.

HRW Report: Turkey's Gays, Lesbians Have No Rights, No Law
Leftist Taraf cites excerpts from the New York-based Human Rights
Watch report on the widespread violence used against gays, lesbians,
and transvestites in Turkey. The 100-page report, titled "We Need a
Law for Our Liberation," points to the biased and prejudiced
attitude by police, military, judiciary, and health workers against
marginalized groups in Turkey. It calls on international health
organizations and the European Union to put pressure on Turkey,
stressing, "Turkish laws are insufficient in protecting homosexuals,
and the existing legislation cannot be enforced due to
discrimination and prejudice." The report was written after four
weeks of field research in each of the cities of Ankara, Istanbul,
and Izmir in 2003, and in Ankara, Istanbul, and Van in 2007.

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- The Greek military general staff chief General Dimitrios Grapsas
is scheduled to pay an official visit to Turkey from May 25-28 at
the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, General Yasar Buyukanit.


- The Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) criticized in a statement the
advertisement on the Kurdish question placed by the Kurdish
Institute in Paris in Le Monde and International Herald Tribune.
The MFA statement said the ad "was putting forth conditions to end
the activities of the terrorist PKK."

- Health Minister Recep Akdag said contaminated water resources
caused the diarrhea epidemic in the central Anatolian province of
Aksaray. At least 8,500 people were hospitalized on complaints of
diarrhea in Aksaray and the nearby province of Konya over the past
week.

International News

- Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal told al-Jazeera
Television on Thursday they had received guarantees from Israel via
Turkey for a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

- Former Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana said in a speech addressing the
British parliament the PKK's struggle was an "insurance policy for
the Kurdish people."

- General David Petraeus said the U.S. should counter Iran's rising
influence by increasing diplomatic and economic pressure on Tehran,
while retaining possible military action as a "last resort."

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: