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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2008

In Today's Papers

Deliberation of AKP Closure Case Starts on July 28
All papers report that the Constitutional Court will begin
deliberation on the AKP closure case July 28th. Mainstream Milliyet
reports that the Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic said it
is not possible to give a date for the final decision, however, as
always, when a decision is reached, they will inform the media.
Milliyet observes that the AKP case has advanced much quicker than
previous closure cases. The AKP case looks to conclude after only
4.5 months, whereas the Welfare Party (RP) case reached that stage
at 8 months, and the Virtue Party (FP) in just over two years.
Sabah says that the experts think the closure case may be concluded
on August 1, or August 8 at the latest. Islamist- oriented Zaman
reports that the Constitutional Court members are scheduled to go to
Russia on August 12, but the Court President Hasim Kilic said that
"national problems have top priority, therefore, if necessary, the
trip to Russia could be cancelled." Mainstream Hurriyet says the
suit will overshadow the High Military Council (YAS) on August 1-4.
Liberal Radikal says there would be no problems in the appointment
of new army commanders even if the AKP is banned because the
appointments also can be made by the President or by an acting PM.

High Tension at the Higher Education Board (YOK)
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet: Today's papers
report that the list of candidates for new rectors submitted by YOK
to President Gul, did not contain names of highest vote getters at
the relevant universities. (Note: the traditional practice is for
university faculties to vote on candidates to establish a list of
finalist candidates and those then are forwarded by YOK to the
President for final selections.) Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
notes that all candidates opposing the government were eliminated by
YOK. President Gul will appoint rectors for 21 universities.

Istanbul Court Rejects the Trial of Istanbul Police Chief in Dink
Murder Case
Sabah, Zaman, Radikal, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Bugun and others: The
Istanbul Regional Administrative Court rejected a request to
prosecute eight policemen, including Istanbul Police Chief
Celalettin Cerrah, for negligence in the Hrant Dink murder. Earlier
prosecution permission was granted for seven Istanbul police
officials, but they appealed the decision to a higher court.

President Gul Will Launch the Construction of New Railroad to
Georgia and Azerbaijan
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports that President Gul will go to Kars
today to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway on July 24. Georgian President
Saakashvili and Azerbaijan's president Aliyev also will join the
ceremony.


Bosnian War Crimes Fugitive Arrested in Serbia. Today's major
international story focuses on the welcome of the arrest of former
Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic who is accused of war crimes and
genocide including Europe's worst massacre since World War II.
Coverage is largely straightforward, but more emphasis is on the
arrest being "a key step" for the country's EU membership hopes.
Mainstream Hurriyet writes in "EU Diet of Serbians," that "the
arrest of the Bosnia and Serebrenica monster will make Serbians
attractive for the EU." Liberal Radikal says former deputy
Secretary of State Holbrooke described Karadzic as "the Osama Bin
Laden of Europe, a real true architect of mass murder." The paper
also highlights that Karadzic was captured "once the newly elected,
pro-EU government changed the national police chief."
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak carries the headline "Last Stop of the
Serbian Butcher," noting "Turkey and the EU welcome Karadzic's
arrest." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet writes the arrest is "a
significant step forward on the way to EU." Mainstream Vatan
carries banner the headline "They Deliver the Butcher, They Join the

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EU." Mainstream Milliyet portrays Karadzic as "a poet, a
psychiatrist and a war criminal."

EDITORIAL OPINION: Serbia/Karadzic

"They Captured Him, When They Really Wanted to"
Sami Kohen wrote in mainstream Milliyet (7/23): "Despite a fugitive
life in Serbia, for 13 years, Radovan Karadzic couldn't be found.
In fact, there was no serious effort or desire to find him until now
and the timing of his capture is rather meaningful. Until now, the
allied forces did not really want to go after him because they
feared possible attacks from Serbian nationalists. And the Belgrade
administration was not enthusiastic to go after Karadzic due to the
potential for civil war because even now, Karadzic is still a heroic
figure for some Serbians. All of this helped the world's most
wanted criminal enjoy a life in the middle of the capital city. The
capture of Karadzic came after a new administration took in charge
in Belgrade. It was the right timing in terms of both internal and
international dynamics. President Tadic and his coalition
government expressed a determination to capture Karadzic and acted
on it. The new government wants integration with the EU and it was
well aware of the fact that there wouldn't be any progress with the
European Union unless Karadzic and Mladic were captured and brought
to the justice."

"The Bus Which Will Take Belgrade to the EU"
Celil Sagir wrote in Islamist-leaning Zaman (7/23): "The capture of
Karadzic in a public bus raises questions, particularly about
timing. Serbia has been going through a power struggle between
nationalist parties and a pro-Western bloc. When the pro-Western
bloc won recent elections, one of their priority targets was EU
accession for the country. Brussels and Belgrade signed a
'Partnership and Stability Agreement,' but the capture of Karadzic
and Mladic was a pre-condition to implement the agreement.
Interestingly enough, the capture was announced on the eve of the EU
Foreign Ministerial meeting to discuss the Union's relations with
Belgrade. Now, the EU's stance becomes very important. If Brussels
finds Karadzic's capture good enough to move forward with Belgrade's
EU accession, then the possibility of capturing Mladic will weaken.
However, both Karadzic and Mladic must be tried so that Bosnians can
find relief from their pain from genocide."


Roj TV in Trouble. News outlets report in a straightforward fashion
that Roj TV is in trouble for tax invasion. Liberal Radikal writes
in "Roj TV in Trouble with Europe," that "the Finance Ministry of
Belgium is planning to seize their assets to compensate for a 4
million Euro tax debt." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet writes "Roj
TV is Stuck" saying "Belgium is after the Roj TV which was banned by
Germany for being the PKK's propaganda mouthpiece." Mainstream
Sabah carries the headline "Roj TV Stuck in Belgium," while
Islamist-oriented Zaman writes "Belgium Starts Confiscation of Roj
TV."

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

- METU students and graduates stage protests against Ankara Mayor
Melih Gokcek because of the Mayor's demand that the university pay a
heavy fine for illegally constructed buildings on the campus

- Civil activists stage protests against government plans to build a
nuclear plant in Sinop

- Defense Industry Under Secretariat decides to start talks with
German HDW and its British partner Marine Force International, to
build six submarines for the Turkish Navy


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- Famous cinema and theater actress Suna Pekuysal passed away from
cardiac failure. Pekuysal performed in more than 250 plays and
nearly 100 movies

- Turkish Energy Company Calik Enerji will construct a power plant
in Turkmenistan for 137 million Euros


International News

- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets Israeli President Shimon
Peres in Jerusalem

- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki tells Senator Obama that he
hopes US troops will go home by the end of 2010

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel offers Iraq help as it moves
toward an increasingly federal system
WILSON

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