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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, JUNE 19, 2008

In Today's Papers

Constitutional Court President: "It is impossible to give a date for
the decision in the AKP Closure Case."
Sabah, Milliyet, Hurriyet,Cumhuriyet, Radikal: Constitutional Court
President Hasim Kilic responded to Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks
yesterday when the PM said, "The supreme court may issue its
decision on the closure case of the AKP in the second half of July."
Kilic said it is not possible to predict if the decision will be
made in early or late July. Kilic said "I cannot make a prediction
about the date. Assessments in that regard have nothing to do with
the court."

PM Erdogan to Focus on Tuzla Shipyard Problems
Radikal, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Zaman, Star, Cumhuriyet: Papers
report that PM Erdogan will meet with ship owners and
representatives of labor unions today to discuss work safety in
Tuzla shipyard. Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim will also
attend the meeting. Liberal Radikal reminds that 25 workers have
died in work accidents in Tuzla in the last six months. Yesterday,
Nur Istanbul shipyard was shut down for violating work safety
regulations. Papers draw attention to the fact that Turk-Is
affiliated labor Unions are invited to the meeting while DISK's
Limter-Is Union was excluded because they arranged the June 16th
strike against worker deaths at the shipyard.

A/S Fried Calls on Armenia to Recognize Turkey's Borders
Hurriyet, Milliyet, and Zaman report on Assistant Secretary of State
for European and Eurasian Affairs Dan Fried's statements at a House
Foreign Affairs Committee meeting regarding the current
Armenia-Turkish borders. This is the first time a high-level U.S.
official has made an official statement on the issue. Papers
interpret the statements as "for the first time, there are no
territorial expectations from Turkey ." Mainstream Hurriyet carries
the headline, "A Historical Call from the U.S. to Armenia," saying
that "The U.S. for the first time, emphasized Armenia has to
recognize current borders with Turkey." Mainstream Milliyet writes
in "We don't say Genocide because we do not want to Harm Relations,"
that in response to a question on 1915 events, A/S Fried said "We
have never denied the events of 1915, however as a policy, we don't
use that term."

Long-standing YouTube Ban Lifted Only for Hours
Yeni Safak, Zaman, Radikal: A court order blocking access to
popular video-sharing web site You Tube was lifted on Tuesday night.
However, the web site remained open only for several hours and it
was banned again around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Turkish courts
have recently issued several verdicts blocking access to offensive
web sites. You-Tube is the world's largest and most popular audio
and video sharing web site and has become a symbol as access to it
has frequently been prohibited by Turkish courts.

Senator Obama Reiterates his Support for Armenian Resolution
Hurriyet, Sabah, Milliyet,Zaman, Radikal: Papers report Democratic
Presidential Candidate Barack Obama sent a letter to the Armenian
National Committee in the U.S. which said, "We should recognize the
tragic facts. There is no excuse for the Bush Administration not to
recognize it."

EDITORIAL OPINION: Middle East

"A Bombardment of Good News"
Sami Kohen wrote in mainstream Milliyet (6/19): "Unless a last
minute problem occurs, today marks the beginning of peace in Gaza.
The truce between Israel and the Hamas-led administration in Gaza
was finally achieved through Egypt's mediation. The ongoing clashes
and reprisal attacks from both sides have been very painful for both
Israel and Gaza. Thus, they decided to try a ceasefire for six
months, even though neither side trusts the other. This agreement
strengthens Hamas' hand, and in a way it creates an opportunity for

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Hamas to have its presence recognized. It is not possible to expect
that the ceasefire will last long. Everybody knows that the
ceasefire stands on very fragile ground. In any case, it is worth
trying because a peace brokered between Hamas and Israel is the most
positive development in the Middle East recently. In addition,
Palestinian leader Abbas will visit Gaza this weekend for the first
high-level contact between the two sides of Palestine. Also, Israel
has expressed its readiness to begin peace negotiations with
Lebanon. Finally, Israel and Syria are continuing their talks with
Turkey's mediation. These are all good news developments for the
region. Bearing in mind the Middle East's nature, we can be
cautiously optimistic."

"The Ceasefire Is the Result of an Unsustainable Status Quo"
Fikret Ertan wrote in Islamist leaning Zaman (6/19): "Ever since
Hamas' electoral victory in Gaza, the territory has been bombarded
with constant air raids and other military activities by Israel.
The Israeli government has faced internal protests and criticism.
In the end, life in both Israel and Palestine has become unbearable.
The ceasefire agreement was reached because it was impossible to
sustain stability under such conflict-ridden circumstances. From
now on, it will be very important to see two gates opened - the gate
from Israel to Gaza, and the gate from Sufa to Karni. These are the
logistical and commercial gateways between Israel and Gaza. In any
case, southern Israel and Gaza will experience a significantly
peaceful atmosphere. Both Israel and Hamas will benefit from this
period of relative comfort. Let's hope this climate will lead to
long-term and long-lasting agreements."

TV Highlights
NTV
Domestic News

- The parliament has approved a new bill regulating appointments of
presidents in newly established state universities.

- Commenting on Michael Rubin's article in The Wall Street Journal,
"Turkey's Putin Deserves To Go," AKP deputy chairman Egemen Bagis
said "Turkey is not Russia, and Erdogan is not Putin."

- Transsexual singer Bulent Ersoy is on trial for criticizing the
military. Last month, Ersoy said on a television show that if she
had a son, she would not send him to the army to fight against the
PKK.

International News

- Addressing the French Senate, Prime Minister Francois Fillon
voiced objections to a bill proposing a public referendum regarding
Turkey's EU accession.

- Relatives of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in
Bosnia-Herzegovina seek damages for their losses in a Dutch court.


- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said EU leaders
should hurry to resolve the crisis over Ireland's rejection of the
Lisbon Treaty.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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