Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO5805
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1512/01 2341422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211422Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7219
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 9104
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4634
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3169
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6806
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6647
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3217
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 001512

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
THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2008

In Today's Papers

Turkey and U.S. Agree on the Passage of Aid Ships to Georgia
All media outlets report that the U.S. and Turkey have reached an
agreement to allow ships meeting the guidelines of the Montreux
Convention through the Turkish straits. Mainstream Hurriyet reports
"The U.S. has stepped back and agreed to abide by the Montreux
Agreement." Mainstream Vatan notes Foreign Ministry Spokesman Burak
Ozugergin told the press, "The U.S. did not ask Turkey for
permission to send the Mercy or the Comfort through the Bosporus."
In "Passage to the Aid Ships," leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
reports "Turkey approves the passage of two U.S. ships stationed in
Greece." Meanwhile, the paper expresses skepticism about real U.S.
intentions, warning that the U.S. "may manipulate Bulgaria and
Romania to reassess the Montreux Agreement" in order to "increase
U.S. and NATO presence in the Black Sea." Liberal Radikal reports,
"The U.S. and Turkey have agreed," that, "the USS McFaul and the
USCGC Dallas will pass through the Turkish straits within a week."
Mainstream Aksam columnist Sedat Sertoglu writes, "In 2001, Turkey
negotiated a deal with the Chinese on the passage of a former
Russian aircraft carrier which the Chinese bought from Ukraine to
turn into a casino. This vessel was 300 meters long with a tonnage
of 67,000 and Ankara allowed its passage," thus, "There should be a
solution that can be found to this problem so Turkey is not a
country that blocks humanitarian aid to Georgia."

Editorial Commentary on U.S. Aid Vessels Passing through the
Straits

Ali Sirmen in the leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet: "We must see that
the U.S. offer to send giant humanitarian aid vessels to Georgia
would actually be a show of force. We must not forget that the U.S.
may try to manipulate Romania and Bulgaria to change the Montreux
Treaty in order to increase U.S. and/or NATO presence in the Black
Sea."

Russia May Recognize South Ossetia, Abkhazia over U.S.-Poland
Missile Deal
All media outlets express anxiety that the missile defense deal
between the U.S. and Poland will be answered by Russia with a
missile defense deal between Moscow and Minsk, as well as Russian
plans to officially recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In "A
Birthday for Abkhazia," Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports, "The
waters are not calming in Georgia," as "Russia plans to recognize
the independence of Abkhazia." Leftist Taraf reports in "Missile
Conqueror Rice Seals the Deal With the Poles," as "Warsaw requests
Patriot Missiles to strengthen their defense system," against
"Russian retaliation" via a missile defense pact between Russia and
Belarus. Mainstream Vatan characterizes the U.S. agreement with
Poland as "The Signature That Enraged Russia." Leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet carries the headline, "Russia Prepares for Recognition,"
of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as parliament is preparing for an
emergency session on August 25th. In "Another Shield Is Necessary
for This Shield," liberal Radikal writes, "Russia and Minsk are
developing a missile defense program in response to the U.S. missile
defense agreement with Poland." Columnist Ismet Berkan for Radikal
notes, "If Russia recognizes the independence of Abhkazia and South
Ossetia, things will become much more complicated," as "Russia will
not negotiate regarding its own backyard." Rusen Cakir of mainstream
Vatan writes, "Despite Turkey's recent new ties with Russia, Turkey
is unlikely to abandon its alliance with the U.S," but, "Turkey
wants to take a neutral position in this new Cold War in order to
mediate between the U.S. and Russia." Taraf writes in "Russian
Wrath against the NATO-Georgia Commission," that, "NATO will provide
Georgia with military assistance," which prompted Russian Deputy
Military Chief Nogovitsin to call the assistance, "a Blitzkrieg
provocation."

Editorial Commentary on the Crisis in the Caucasus


ANKARA 00001512 002 OF 003


Erdal Safak wrote in mainstream Sabah (8/21): "40 years ago Prague
woke up to the sound of Russian tanks. At that time, the entire
Western world urged the international community to stand next to
Czechoslovakia and isolate Russia. Today, the U.S. is urging the
international community to isolate Russia because of their actions
in Georgia. Within this new Cold War climate, PM Erdogan went to
Baku to get support for the "Caucasus Stability and Cooperation
Platform." There is no doubt that Azerbaijan will support such an
initiative, along with Russia and Georgia. This platform should
bring the regional countries together to achieve joint. If
stability and prosperity are brought to the Caucasus, these
countries will support each other. Of course, for all these, Turkey
is the only country that can spearhead these efforts."

Fikret Bila commented in mainstream Milliyet (8/21): "In order to
overcome recent problems, people in the Caucasus should focus on
using their natural resources to increase their level of prosperity.
The people of the Caucasus region should not lean on a powerful
country but should put aside ethnic problems and learn to live
together in peace and prosperity. Just like the countries in the
Middle East, none of the countries in Caucasus would benefit from a
war."

Rusen Cakir in mainstream Vatan believes that Turkey is in a
difficult position in this new Cold War because of many reasons.
Even though ties between Turkey and Russia have improved recently,
Turkey will not give up its traditional alliance with the U.S. in
order to support Russia. In addition, Washington has not approached
Turkey's Caucasus Platform initiative very warmly; thus, in the
future, pro-U.S. Azerbaijan and pro-U.S. Georgia will eventually
pull away from this initiative. It will be difficult for Turkey to
please Russia and the U.S. at the same time. Armenia should be
included in this initiative but this may not be very easy because of
the existing problems. Finally, there is no certainty about this
platform. Turkey's image may suffer in the end. I don't think
Turkey has many trump cards in its hand that would allow it to pass
this difficult period without suffering any injuries."

Ismet Berkan wrote in liberal Radikal: "Turkey is exerting efforts
to create a Caucasus platform, but if we can manage to bring Russia,
Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia to talk with each other, that in and
of itself would be a success. Turkey would benefit from this as
well. Yet at the same time, realistically speaking, I don't think
we can even achieve that much. Russia will not negotiate with
anyone anymore about the places which it considers as its backyard.
Things will get even more complicated if Moscow recognizes the
independence of Abkhazia and Ossetia. The developments in the
region should be very closely watched."

PKK Link in Istanbul and Mersin Bombings
Mainstreams Sabah and Milliyet report the same kind of strengthened
TNT explosives used in the Istanbul-Gungoren bombings was used in
this week's Mersin bombings. Sabah reports these explosives were
brought in to Turkey by the PKK. Milliyet quotes Mersin Governor
Huseyin Aksoy saying "we expect that the suicide bomber in Mersin
was a PKK member."

Osman Hayal Detained in Hrant Dink Murder Case
Hurriyet, Sabah, Radikal, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, Zaman report Osman
Hayal, older brother of the Hrant Dink murder suspect Yasin Hayal,
was detained by police in the Black Sea city of Trabzon and sent to
Istanbul. Osman's mobile phone records show he was in Istanbul on
the day Dink was murdered. Eyewitnesses to the Dink murder told the
police hitman Ogun Samast was accompanied by someone during the
assassination. Papers say it was a "scandal" that Osman Hayal was
interrogated 11 months after the Dink murder. Osman Hayal's
detention raised hopes for resolving the mystery behind the murder,
say papers.

Madrid Plane Crash

ANKARA 00001512 003 OF 003


All papers report that MD-82 type jetliner bound for the Canary
Islands crashed during takeoff. It was the worst air disaster in
Spain nearly 25 years in which 153 of a total of 172 passengers and
crew died. A Turkish citizen, named Mehmet Erdil, is on the
Spainair passenger list, but his status has yet to be confirmed.
Due to the bodies burned in the fire, the identification process
will take some time, papers noted. Vatan adds that the MD-80 series
do not have a good reputation because accidents involving the planes
have cost the lives of more than 1000 passengers in 58 accidents
since they were launched for commercial use in 1980. Mainstream
papers, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Vatan and Sabah highlight that a Turkish
Airlines plane was taxiing to take off right after the Spanish jet.

Editorial Commentary on Radar Deployment in Israel, Pakistan's
Musharraf

Fikret Ertan in the Islamist-oriented Zaman: "According to the
latest news, the U.S. wants to deploy X-band radars to Israel and
the Czech Republic. The U.S. and Israel have agreed to deploy the
radar in the Negev Desert in Israel. The system, to be activated
early 2009, will be connected to the American early warning system,
expanding the warning range to 2,000 km. It will give Israel
precious time during a possible Iranian missile attack. This
development concerns Iran the most. Turkey has intentions to set up
its own shield, and must follow these developments closely."

Oktay Eksi wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "There is nothing unusual
about the resignation of Pakistan's President Musharraf,
particularly given the country's history of military coups.
Military interventions, religious exploitation in politics, and
corruption are indispensable features of Pakistani politics. There
is a common reality for those whose politics are based on personal
animosity instead of principle and value. One wonders why Pakistani
intellectuals do not look closely to their next door neighbor,
India. While Pakistan struggles with military coups and corruption,
India emerges as one of the most rapidly growing economies in the
world. The main and most important difference between the two
countries is the value of secularism. The Indian system does not
allow the exploitation of religion for political aims, while
politicians in Pakistan race each other to see who can give more
concessions to religious fundamentalists."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- The testing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline in the
Erzincan province has begun.

- On Thursday, the National Security Council (MGK) will hold a
meeting in Istanbul. The outgoing chief of the military General
Staff Yasar Buyukanit will bid farewell to MGK members before his
retirement.

- The Privatization Administration said the Council of State
decision to suspend the privatization of nine motorways and two
Bosporus bridges would not affect the privatization process.

International News

- 56.5 percent of the Turkish Cypriots favor the implementation of a
"two-state model" on the divided island of Cyprus.

- The deputy chief of Iran's atomic energy organization, Mohammad
Saeedi, said talks on Tehran's nuclear drive with the IAEA were
"positive" and would continue.

SILLIMAN

© 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: