Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008
In Today's Papers
Retired General Detained in Ergenekon Investigation Released
All papers report retired General Eruygur, who suffered a cerebral
hemorrhage after falling down stairs at Kandira hospital, was
released from prison on Sunday for health reasons.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet's headline reads "Former General in
Coma Released from Prison" and reports that Eruygur was waiting
trial in the Ergenekon case and was hospitalized five days ago after
he fell down the stairs at Kandira prison. Doctors said Eruygur is
still in critical condition, adds the paper. Meanwhile, liberal
Radikal reports that four lieutenants and a military student who
last week were detained in the Ergenekon investigation have been
formerly arrested while lawyer Levent Temiz, artist Nurseli Idiz and
transsexual celebrity Seyhan Soylu were set free.
Deniz Feneri Case and Debates in Turkey
Media outlets continue to cover Deniz Feneri Germany case and its
potential impact on Turkish politics. Weekend papers predominantly
highlighted RTUK Chairman Zahid Akman's connection to the Germany
case. Stories in Radikal, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Vatan as well as
Taraf argued that there are enough reasons for Akman to announce his
resignation. Meanwhile mainstream Milliyet and Hurriyet noted that
Mr. Akman is still involved in businesses as either a shareholder or
board member,despite restrictions set out in the law for RTUK
Chairs's involvement in commercial interests. Monday papers carry a
statement from Zahid Akman, sent to media through his lawyer to deny
the charges. The statement says, the allegations against Akman are
baseless because all of his commercial assets were acquired prior to
his assuming the RTUK Chairmanship position. "Moreover there is no
regulation mentioned in the RTUK chairman's responsibility banning
him from being a shareholder" the statement added.
Papers also highlight Parliament Speaker Toptan's follow up remarks
on the RTUK Chairman debate. Toptan said, in many countries
resignation due to allegations is an established culture and he
wished that Turkey could have the same culture. "Resigning from a
duty does not mean accepting allegations" he added.
Editorial Commentary on Deniz Feneri Case
Taha Akyol wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "Respectful British paper
The Economist questioned the AKP's purity last week with a headline
"Isn't the AKP pure any longer?" Moreover, regarding PM Erdogoan's
attacks against the media, an EU Ambassador said "Fasting must have
made him a nervous man." If global economic and political centers
are becoming suspicious of the AKP, then trust in the capital
movements will be affected as well. Therefore, instead of
criticizing and threatening the media, PM Erdogan should initiate an
investigation against fraud in Turkey as well. If he doesn't hurry
up and clean his own garden soon, questions about the AKP's purity
Mehmet Tezkan wrote in mainstream Vatan: "Deniz Feneri officials
committed a crime against humanity by stealing poor people's money.
Through their illegal act, they damaged people's charitable feelings
and other charity organizations' credibility as well. The social
angle of the incident is much stronger than the political results.
Therefore, the resignation of Zahid Akman will not be satisfactory.
Under these conditions, Akman is obliged to resign. But the case
should not end there and Akman, Zekeriya Karaman and their circle
should be tried. The prosecutor of the case should be the poor
children who lost their aid money to this charity organization."
U.S. Religious Freedom Report
Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and Zaman report on Sunday the annual US State
Department report on religious freedom says the Turkish state
generally respects religious freedoms, but adds there are
restrictions for Islamic and other groups. The symbols of Islam are
not allowed in state offices and universities, and the military
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General Staff (TGS) and the National Security Council (MGK) view
religious fundamentalism as a threat, according to the report. It
criticizes the Turkish government for forcing Alevi children to
receive Sunni religious instruction in school. It also criticizes
Turkey for not recognizing the Ecumenical status of the Greek
Orthodox Patriarchate, and for keeping the Halki Seminary in
Istanbul closed. The report also says Turkey's leading politicians
have ties with religious communities, which are outlawed in Turkey.
Suicide Attack against Islamabad Marriott
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports, "The Bomb Attack in Pakistan
Also Killed the Czech Ambassador," and "Ivo Zdarek was only
appointed to Islamabad one month ago." Liberal Radikal calls the
attack "Like Pakistan's September 11th," and reports, "As Bush's war
spreads, the American Marriott Hotel is reduced to rubble in
Pakistan," as authorities call it, "the work of Al-Qaeda."
Islamist-oriented Zaman carries the headline, "The Prime Minister's
Iftar Program Was Cancelled only Hours before the Explosion."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet carries the headline, "The Footprints
of Al-Qaeda in the Attack," as "all signs indicate Taliban militants
who are on the border with Afghanistan and who are linked to
Al-Qaeda are responsible." Leftist Taraf reports, "Pakistan Lives
Through Its Own September 11th." Mainstream Sabah reports,
"Terrorists Create a 6-meter Crater with 1 Ton of Explosives."
James Jeffrey Begins Confirmation Hearings
Far right Ortadogu reports, "Jim Jeffrey beings his official
confirmation hearings this week," and "is being pressured by the
American Armenian Assembly (AAA) to refer to the events of 1915 as
'genocide.'" In "Genocide Blackmail Against Bush's Ankara
Ambassador," Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports, "the AAA wants
Jeffrey to recognize the events as 'genocide,'" while, "Armenian
President Serge Sargsyan called for the opening of the
Turkish-Armenian border and for diplomatic relations."
- 13 newborn babies died in 11 hours in a research hospital in
- PKK terrorists abducted two truck drivers carrying food to
military posts in the eastern province of Tunceli.
- On Sunday, around two million candidates took the 'Civil Service
Entrance Exam' to be employed in the public sector.
- President Abdullah Gul arrived in New York on Sunday to
participate in UN General Assembly meetings to begin Monday.
- Armenian President Serge Sargsyan said his country has no
territorial claims on Turkey, and added Yerevan's priority was the
opening of the border and the establishment of diplomatic ties with
- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has submitted his resignation
to President Shimon Peres.