Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO3006
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1652/01 2591358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 151358Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7463
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 9167
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4739
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3231
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6861
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6702
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3272
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 001652

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
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2008

In Today's Papers

Gul and Baykal Mend Fences at Sogut Festivities
Media outlets report President Abdullah Gul, opposition CHP Leader
Deniz Baykal, MHP Leader Devlet Bahceli and cabinet ministers
participated in the ceremony to commemorate the 727th anniversary of
the founding of the Ottoman Empire in Sogut town in the Marmara
province of Bilecik. President Gul said, "We sacrifice our
interests when we waste our energy fighting with each other," in
reference to the ongoing controversy between Prime Minister Erdogan
and media mogul Aydin Dogan's Dogan Media Group over alleged
irregularities in the Germany-based Turkish charity Deniz Feneri.
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports "the ice is breaking" between
President Gul and opposition CHP Leader Baykal as Baykal and Gul
shook hands at the ceremonies yesterday. In addition, papers note
Baykal, who opposed Gul's candidacy for president referred to Gul
for the first time publicly as "Mr. President."

The Erdogan-Dogan Spat Continues
Media outlets continue to report on the ongoing spat between Prime
Minister Erdogan and the Dogan Media Group regarding the fraud trial
of Germany-based Islamist-oriented Deniz Feneri charity and its
alleged links to Islamist-leaning media outlets in Turkey and the
ruling AKP officials. The Dogan Group's newspapers and television
channels report allegations that donations raised by the Deniz
Feneri charity in Istanbul were used to support the AKP and media
outlets close to the governing party. Saturday's papers report the
International Press Institute (IPI) released a statement asking
Prime Minister Erdogan to cease his attempts to pressure the Turkish
media. Mainstream Vatan says the PM shrugged off the call made by
IPI, which Vatan describes as, "One of the most prestigious press
organizations around the world." Erdogan asked, "Who is IPI to issue
me an ultimatum?" Erdogan also lashed out at media tycoon Aydin
Dogan for pressuring the government for favors. Aydin Dogan
rejected the PM's claim, saying he had not asked the government for
anything illegal. Liberal Radikal reports on Monday Erdogan's
remarks in Istanbul was again "full of insults, threats and
blackmail." Saturday papers report former Parliament Speaker Bulent
Arinc denounced the irregularities within Deniz Feneri charity,
stressing that the charges should be examined by the Turkish
authorities as well.

Papers report that on Wednesday, a verdict is expected in the Deniz
Feneri case in Germany. Some officials from opposition parties CHP
and DSP will travel to Germany to observe court proceedings.

Editorial Commentary on Dogan Media Group--the PM Controversy

Oktay Eksi wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "It seems Prime Minister
Erdogan needs to learn about the indispensable role of the freedom
of the press in a democracy. In a normal democracy, he would have
to address allegations in the Deniz Feneri Frankfurt indictment
instead of blaming newspapers for reporting the indictment. If only
he knew democracy and believed the supremacy of law."

Tamer Korkmaz wrote in Islamist leaning Yeni Safak: "It is not easy
to believe that the Dogan Media Group is only after corruption cases
because of their journalistic integrity. The Dogan Media Group
seems to like trying to defame the government. As the archives tell
us, when serious corruption cases occurred during the February 28
process, the Dogan group did not pursue out a single story on this
topic."

Erol Manisali in leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet: "If we really
oppose the type of fraud in the Deniz Feneri case, we must also
oppose the actions of American and European imperialism in the
Middle East. The March 12 and September 12 military takeovers,
Operation Provide Comfort, March 6 1995, November 2 2002, and July
22, 2007 are all links in the same chain. Merely opposing the
irregularities in the Deniz Feneri won't mean anything other than

ANKARA 00001652 002 OF 003


saving the current day."

"An Important Visit from the U.S." (Ortadogu)
Media outlets report on the visit of Chairman of U.S. Joint Chief of
Staff Admiral Mike Mullen as a chance for the U.S. and Turkey to
discuss the crisis in the Caucasus, the PKK, and the ongoing
military coordination between the two countries. Leftist Taraf
carries the headline, "Was this the Montreux Visit?" and speculates
this "surprise" visit may have been Mullen's attempt to discuss the
revision of the Montreux Agreement. Islamist-oriented Zaman carries
the headline, "U.S. Chief of Staff Discussed the Bosporus Straits
with Erdogan." Meanwhile, far right Ortadogu reports in "An
Important Visit from the U.S." that "Mullen is Chief of Turkish
General Staff General Basbug's first official guest."

In a related story, over the weekend mainstreams Milliyet and Sabah
reported the USS McFaul, described by Sabah as a "guided missile
destroyer," has re-entered the Black Sea. Milliyet reports "it
looks like the McFaul will enter and exit the Black Sea in line with
the Montreux restrictions in order to maintain a presence in the
Black Sea." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet referred to the ship's
maneuvers as "cheating" in that the point of the Montreux
restrictions "is to limit warship presence in the Black Sea," but
the entrance and exit of the McFaul allows it to abide by the
restrictions while "maintaining its military presence in the Black
Sea." Reports highlighted the 21-day limitation for foreign war
ships according to the Montreux Covention, and mentioned that the
USS McFaul spent less than three weeks but also speculated about the
legitimacy of a revolving door approach. Hurriyet noted earlier
rumors that, "the U.S. will dilute Montreux by exiting and
re-entering the Black Sea, and that's exactly what happened."

DTP Presents Defense in Closure Case Tomorrow
Mainstream Sabah reports DTP chairman Ahmet Turk will present the
party's verbal defense at the Constitutional Court tomorrow.
Reportedly, at the Court, Ahmet Turk will warn, "If the DTP is
closed, the Kurdish people will distance themselves from the
political platform, resulting in chaos and violence. We've been
reiterating that the Kurdish issue can be resolved by peaceful
means. The DTP doesn't want violence, but peace. Our party is the
defender of the legal solution for the Kurdish issue. Closing the
DTP will mean insisting on not resolving the Kurdish issue."

Editorial Commentary on Turkey/Armenia

Erdal Safak wrote in mainstream Sabah: "During a press conference
in Baku, Energy Minister Guler was asked whether there was a
possibility the Nabucco pipeline could pass through Armenia. Guler
said "This is not on the agenda for now." This answer indicates
that there was a vast change in balances in the Caucasus following
the war between Georgia and Russia. Georgia is no longer a safe
route for the Nabucco pipeline. At this time, Turkey, Azerbaijan,
Europe and all other investors will seriously evaluate Armenia's
participation in the Nabucco project. Aside from Armenia, there is
only one other country the pipeline can pass through - Iran. Of
course, this choice upsets the U.S. immensely. Just to avoid this
choice, the U.S. is pressuring Turkey to open the Turkey-Armenia
border, and Ankara announced the opening of a new page in
Turkey-Armenia relations. At the same time Minister Guler is not
confirming the possibility of Armenia's participation in the
pipeline."

Semih Idiz wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "In order to end the
hostility with Armenia regarding the events of 1915, the experienced
Ambassador Volkan Vural suggested that Turkey say, "We do not
approve of what happened in 1915." In addition, Ambassador Vural
suggests Turkey pay the Armenians affected by those incidents a
symbolic compensation. Unfortunately, Vural was harshly criticized
for his words. But his intellectual capacity is enough to respond
bravely to this criticism. We have right to expect the same kind of

ANKARA 00001652 003 OF 003


bravery from Armenia. The political leadership on both sides has a
huge responsibility in this issue. It is not possible to solve this
problem with mutual accusations. The only way toward a solution is
a scientific examination of history and political encouragement that
can address current needs."

Ali H. Aslan in Islamist-oriented Zaman: "Washington appreciates the
new military-civilian developments in Turkey concerning the Kurdish
question and President Gul's visit to Yerevan. It will, however, be
difficult for Turkey to become the 'winner' regarding the Armenian
problem without healing the wounds of the incidents between Muslims
and Christians during World War I. Dialogue and a mutual respect
are necessary for this to happen. I believe 'empathy' will help a
lot in getting over national and international enmities."

Editorial Commentary on U.S. Elections, Pakistan

Ceyda Karan wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal: "Russian leader
Putin joined the Europeans in openly supporting Barack Obama. There
is a general concern about the future of the world if McCain and
Palin win the U.S. presidential elections. 80 percent of Europeans
wish to see Obama as the new President of the United States.
Meanwhile, the Republicans' campaign is based on an entirely
aggressive and militarist approach. If the Democrats fail against
Republicans this time, the Europeans will have to work with a U.S.
leadership who cares not for the rest of the world's concerns at
all."

Sedat Sertoglu in mainstream Aksam: "The U.S. began crossing the
Pakistani border in order to pursue the Taliban and al-Qaeda, who
fled there after attacks in Afghanistan. The number of Turkish
martyrs in clashes with the PKK terrorists increases every day.
Turkey should also pursue terrorists into northern Iraq whenever
necessary, and shouldn't worry about the U.S. reactions against such
types of hot pursuit."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said the fifth round of indirect
talks between Syria and Israel will be held on September 18-19 in
Istanbul.

- One soldier has been killed when a landmine, believed to have been
planted by the PKK, went off in the southeastern province of Siirt.


- An August survey conducted by labor union KESK indicates a family
of four needs 730 YTL monthly to meet its food expenses.

International News

- A Russian passenger liner has crashed in the central Russian city
of Perm, killing all 88 passengers, including a Turk, and crew.

- Russian troops left positions near the Georgian Black Sea port of
Poti, as agreed in a deal between Russia and the European Union
earlier this month.

- NATO Military Committee Chairman Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola says
the military alliance does not want a new Cold War with Russia.

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:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC