Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO6722
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1519/01 2351437
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221437Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7229
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 9107
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4637
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3172
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6809
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6650
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3220
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 001519

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, AUGUST 22, 2008

In Today's Papers

Black Sea Tensions Rising
All news outlets today pay particular attention to anxieties that
the U.S., NATO, and Russia are stepping up their game in the war of
words and symbols. Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak writes in, "Unrest
in the Black Sea," that "some experts claim the U.S. aid shipments
into the Black Sea not only contain humanitarian aid, but weapons
for the Georgians." In addition, the paper notes, "Two NATO ships
passed through the straits yesterday" which Yeni Safak says, "begins
the effects on Turkey from the war between Georgia and Russia in the
Caucasus." But mainstream Hurriyet reports NATO issued a statement
indicating the two ships "were being used for routine joint
exercises in the Black Sea within the NATO Task Force Operations."
Mainstream Milliyet reports, "It is not clear if the U.S. ships
carrying humanitarian aid to Georgia will participate in the NATO
exercises. (Note: A NATO mission did pass through the straights
yesterday on a routine mission to Bulgaria and Romania. It is not
part of the Georgian aid mission.) Mainstream Aksam's front page
headline reads, "Turkey is caught in the Middle between the U.S. and
Russia's in the New Cold War." Aksam's article comments, "Tensions
are rising after the war between Russia and Georgia," as, "U.S.
plans to send giant hospital ships were foiled by the Montreux
Convention." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet's headline reads, "The
U.S. Gets the Chance to Make a Show of Force in the Black Sea," as,
"their use of war ships in the Black Sea sends a message to the
Russians."

Russia Stirs Up Regional Politics
Media outlets noted Russia's decision to cut ties with NATO,
Russia's detention in Gori of the French Ambassador, and Russian
efforts to garner support in the region. Cumhuriyet comments on
Russia's decision to cut ties with NATO with the headline, "The
Missile Shield Severs Relations." Zaman also reports, "Russia Halts
Relations with NATO." Mainstream Sabah carries the headline,
"Russian Troops Detain the French Ambassador for Three Hours," when
he traveled to Gori, "a city outside of the boundaries of South
Ossetia but still occupied by Russian troops." Sabah reports, "The
French government spat fire in response." Islamist-oriented Zaman
notes, "The Russians Send a Detention Message to Russia," as France
called the ambassador's detention "unacceptable."

In a related story, Zaman reports, "Syrian President Assad met with
Russian President Medvedev," and Syria, "pledged support for
Russia's response to Georgian provocation and for the establishment
of a naval base," so that "Syria and Russia could work together in
order to form a strategic partnership that seeks stability in the
region." Zaman notes, "Russia responded to the U.S. missile defense
agreement in Poland by setting up the same arrangement with Belarus
and by extending Russian dialogue in order to strengthen ties to the
Middle East." Liberal Radikal reports, "Eyes are on the Kremlin,"
as "Abkhazia and South Ossetia officially request from Russia its
recognition of their independence." CNN Turk reports, "Turkish
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will speak with Russian FM Lavrov
regarding the implementation of the Caucasus Platform," and liberal
Radikal notes, "Turkey and Russia will work together in order to
include Armenia in the platform."

Editorial Commentary on Regional Diplomatic Developments

Yasin Dogan wrote in Yeni Safak: "Turkish diplomacy is very busy due
to Turkey's multi-lateral efforts. It is important to evaluate the
US reaction to the Caucasus Platform. Yet at the same time, Turkey
cannot ignore its relations with Russia. Turkey cannot afford to be
aloof to its neighbors in the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle
East. Turkish foreign policy should be active and crafted with a
multi-lateral vision. It is important to maintain balance, which is
good for Turkey's national interest."

Orhan Birgit in Cumhuriyet: "US Representative Mark Kirk's statement

ANKARA 00001519 002 OF 003


that Turkey is like a 'satellite' of Russia is nonsense and rude.
Kirk must explain the reason why he supports the efforts of the
French president but opposes Turkey's initiatives in the Caucasus.
Turkey's friends and allies should be happy that Turkey is pursuing
a policy which shows the Montreux Treaty is vital not only for the
region but for world peace as well. It's good that the US dropped
the idea of sending giant hospital ships to Georgia, and instead
will send vessels from the American fleet in the Aegean, which meet
the regulations stated in the Montreux Treaty. The US should thank
Turkey for providing reasonable guidance."

Mumtazer Turkone in Zaman: "Today, the US needs Russia as an enemy.
Russia is more than eager to play such a role, since polarization
with the US would allow Moscow the opportunity to return to its old
behavior during Russia's imperial days. The missile shield system
deployed in Poland does not actually protect the US from Russian
missiles, but renders the American state more powerful against other
opponents around the world. Thus, world politics are returning to
the old days of the Cold War. Within this framework, Turkey is an
energy route and the battlefield of micro-nationalisms."

Rice Negotiating Agreement with Iraq
Mainstream Sabah reports, "after signing a missile defense shield
agreement with Poland, Rice made a surprise visit to Iraq," where,
"a timetable for withdrawal is set for June 2009." Leftist Taraf
carries the headline, "Rice Pursues a Signature with Iraq," and
notes, "Iraq Foreign Minister Zebari emphasized the need to include
a date for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq." Liberal
Radikal reports, "Rice Bargains with Baghdad on the Status of Forces
Agreement."

Editorial Commentary on Turkey/Sudan, Turkish Democracy Debates

Mehmet Yilmaz wrote in Hurriyet: "At his press conference, the
President of Sudan not only made comments about the genocide case
but also described Turkey as his accomplice. Interestingly enough,
the Turkish MFA did not make any statement to contradict al-Bashir's
view of Turkey as his crime partner. Apparently the AKP government
has no objection to this attitude, which will have a very negative
impact on Turkey's candidacy for the UNSC. While the government has
a modern vision for membership to the UN Security Council, the
government's Islamic roots undermine such a target."

Ismet Berkan wrote in Radikal: "As soon as the parliament convenes,
the ruling AKP will exert most of its energy on local elections.
Most of them believe that a vast majority of votes in local
elections will indicate an acquittal for the AKP vis-`-vis the
people [in the aftermath of the Constitutional Court decision].
However this is not going to be good enough for Turkish democracy
since we still do not have a modern democracy. A legitimate checks
and balances system is all we need. Unless we have that we will end
up in a new political crisis. This is the very time to repair our
democratic system."

Explosion from Car Bomb Wounds 16 in Izmir
All news outlets report that early Thursday in the Aegean port city
of Izmir, five policemen, three soldiers, including a colonel, and
five civilians were wounded when a bomb-laden parked car exploded as
a minivan carrying police officers passed by. Izmir Governor Cahit
Kirac told reporters the bomb was detonated by remote control. The
car was reportedly stolen in Istanbul a year ago. Liberal Radikal
claims the PKK to be behind the attack, which, according to the
paper, was an "al-Qaeda type" act. Radikal says yesterday's
incident in Izmir was similar to a PKK bomb attack in Diyarbakir in
October, which claimed six lives. Police are seeking two other cars
that might be used in attacks in major cities. Papers recall eight
bomb attacks were carried out around the country over the last eight
months.

Editorial Commentary on the Recent PKK Attacks

ANKARA 00001519 003 OF 003

Guneri Civaoglu writes in mainstream Milliyet: "The PKK has now
shifted its actions to major cities, of which the bombings in Mersin
and Izmir are the latest examples. The car bomb attacks in these
cities indicate the PKK is cornered on both sides of the Iraqi
border. The upcoming municipal elections could be another reason
behind the latest attacks. The pro-Kurdish DTP is uncomfortable
with the increasing popularity of the ruling AKP in southeast
Turkey. The PKK hopes the attacks in Turkish cities will stoke
polarization, which will help increase the support for the DTP."

Turkey's NSC Discusses the Caucasus, Cyprus, Iran
All papers carry a statement issued after the National Security
Council which notes the council discussed the fight against PKK and
developments in the Caucasus, Cyprus and Iraq. "The NSC expressed
determination on the fight against terrorism and discussed measures
to ensure peace and stability in the Caucasus. Regarding Cyprus,
the NSC members expressed solidarity with the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus, and also discussed the fundamentals for a
comprehensive solution in light of upcoming Cyprus talks on
September 3. On Iraq, the NSC discussed ongoing projects to realize
a high level cooperation scheme between Turkey and Iraq as well as
emphasized the importance of more bilateral contacts with Iraq" the
statement detailed. Radikal mentioned that NSC statement went
beyond usual practices for the first time by adding a non-political
line that included good wishes to General Buyukanit upon his
retirement.

Turkey Blocks Access to 853 Websites
Mainstream Milliyet reports on its front page that access to YouTube
has been restricted in Turkey for over three months. In addition,
the paper notes that as of August 18, Turkey's Telecommunication
Department has restricted access to 853 websites. Turkey has now
joined the list of countries enforcing tight Internet restrictions
such as China, Iran, Armenia, Tunisia, Indonesia, Syria, the United
Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, says Milliyet.

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- A court in Malatya accepted the prosecutor's demand to include the
'Ergenekon' indictment in the case concerning the murder of three
Christian Bible publishers in 2007.

- The second round of collective bargaining talks between the
government and civil servants' unions ended Thursday without an
agreement.

- A survey by Turkey's Central Bank shows the year-end inflation to
stand at 11.04 percent.

International News

- UN High Commissioner for Refugees says 118,000 people have fled
their homes because of the conflict between Georgia and Russia.

- Secretary Rice and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the
two countries have agreed on setting timetables for the withdrawal
of US troops from Iraq.

- Afghan officials said at least 10 civilians have been killed in an
air attack by the US-led forces in Afghanistan's Laghman province.


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: