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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2008

In Today's Papers

More Revelations in Deniz Feneri Scandal
Many media outlets continue reporting about the Islamist-oriented
Deniz Feneri charity scandal in Germany, which was dubbed "fraud of
the century" by the German authorities. In a news conference
Monday, opposition CHP deputy group chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu showed
to the press a document authorizing Kanal 7 TV president Zekeriya
Karaman to handle Kanal 7 TV Europe manager Mehmet Gurhan's assets
and investments in Turkey. The document was issued by a notary
public in Istanbul on May 21, 2007 -- on a date Gurhan was in prison
in Germany. The document authorizes Karaman to make transactions
with the Gurhan's shares in Turkish companies. Liberal Radikal says
it is clear that Karaman was taking care of Gurhan's commercial
interests in Turkey. "The document shows Gurhan was a puppet and
that Karaman was holding the whole power and authority,"
Kilicdaroglu stressed.

On Monday, Turkey's media watchdog RTUK Chair Zahid Akman in an
interview on NTV rejected charges that he played a key role in the
Deniz Feneri scandal. Akman said there was no need for his
resignation because all the charges against him were "speculation."
"The Prime Minister said I should continue with my duties at RTUK,"
Akman said. Akman claimed the campaign launched against him was
actually "plotted by foreign intelligence services." Mainstream
Milliyet says Akman occupied positions in four different companies
after being assigned to RTUK, even though this is clearly prohibited
by laws. Meanwhile, opposition far right MHP leader Devlet Bahceli
released yesterday a statement demanding RTUK President Akman be
"forced to step down." MHP deputy group chief Oktay Vural said his
party would submit a motion to parliament for initiating
parliamentary investigation into the Deniz Feneri scandal.

Rice-Babacan Meet in New York
Media outlets report that on Monday, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan
met Secretary Rice on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly
meetings in New York. Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman
Burak Ozugergin said Babacan and Rice discussed "Turkey-U.S. ties,
cooperation against the PKK and recent developments in the
Caucasus." "Babacan and Rice also discussed President Abdullah
Gul's visit to Armenia," Ozugergin said. Papers report Rice
emphasized Turkey was an "excellent partner." On a question whether
Turkey backed the US in the Georgia-Russia crisis, Rice said "We
have discussed the matter with Turkey a couple times because Turkey
is an important power in the Caucasus and is working for a more
peaceful Caucasus".

Erdogan: "Economic Crisis Could be an Opportunity for Turkey
Hurriyet, Sabah, Vatan, Turkiye, Yeni Safak, Zaman, Dunya, Posta:
Today's papers extensively covered the press conference PM Erdogan
held on recent economic developments in the world. Finance Minister
Kemal Unakitan, State Ministers Nazim Ekren and Kursad Tuzmen joined
the Prime Minister at the press conference. Mainstream Sabah and
Islamist-oriented Zaman headline "Erdogan Relays Confidence Messages
to Markets" and report Erdogan saying "The world's financial sector
is going through a serious crisis. Turkey will get over this crisis
with minimum damage and walk towards its targets with determination.
I believe this process will turn into an opportunity for Turkey."
Mainstream Hurriyet quotes Erdogan as saying "The structural
reforms carried out in the last six years have helped Turkey to
minimize the effects of national and international crises. Turkey
is not as vulnerable to crisis and turmoil as it was in the past."

Editorial Commentary on Global Economic Meltdown

Mehmet Barlas wrote in mainstream Sabah: "Pluralistic democracy is
the guarantor of economic stability. If there is no political
stability and transparency in a country, then there will be no
economic stability either. Getting deeply involved in domestic
issues and angry polemics can threaten Turkey's relationship with

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the EU. This situation can affect Turkey's economy dramatically.

Hasan Cemal wrote in mainstream Milliyet: The recent global
economic crisis reminded me of the economic crisis Turkey faced in
2001. The damages of the recent global crisis are really big. As a
result, growth in the western economies will slow down and maybe
completely stop. Unemployment will spread. International capital
issues will cease. While there are such crises in the world, I
really don't know what measures PM Erdogan is taking against it.
But one thing is definite: Turkey will be affected by this global
crisis. In order to avoid huge damage, Erdogan should pay more
aptention to the global economic crisis and to EU reforms.

DTP Rally in Diyarbakir and Van for Kurdish Language Education
Mainstream Milliyet reports that a rally arranged by DTP activists
in Diyarbakir and Van to demand Kurdish language education in state
schools turned to a pro-PKK rally. While Kurdish language songs
praising the PKK and jailed leader Ocalan were broadcast from the
DTP's official bus, primary school students attended the rally and
chanted pro-PKK slogans. Around 10,000 people attended the rally,
including DTP chairman Ahmet Turk, DTP deputies Emine Ayna,
Selahattin Demirtas, former DEP chairperson Leyla Zana and
Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir. Leyla Zana addressed the crowd in
Kurdish and urged them to speak in Kurdish among the families, to
read Kurdish papers, to watch Kurdish TV channels and to follow
Kurdish internet sites.

Editorial Commentary on Turkey/Pluralism

Ihsan Dagi in Islamist-oriented Zaman: "Racists in Europe have tried
to block the construction of a mosque in Cologne. European
democrats disrupted their effort, and formed a 'rainbow' platform on
the side of Muslims. In this platform were church representatives,
democrats, liberals, greens and even gays. We have to take a lesson
from this, and rediscover the tradition of tolerance and coexistence
with people from diverse faiths. An understanding of a homogenous
religion, just like a mentality of a homogenous nation and state,
will take a society to fascism. It's odd that our tradition, which
has seen Muslims, Christians and Jews existing together, is today
displaying a destructive homogenous approach. Those who try to put
pressure on people coming from different faiths cannot object to the
homogenizing politics of the Kemalist regime. The mentality is the
same -- everyone else should be like us; and whether this is seen as
'everyone should be Kemalist and secularist' or 'everyone should be
Muslim' doesn't make a difference. We must admit that Turkey has
lost its cultural pluralism. This land is homogenous to an extent
never seen in its history. But they are still afraid, which means
that 'uniformity' doesn't relieve our fears, on the contrary, those
we have turned towards 'uniformity' return as our nightmares."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- The Health Ministry has launched an investigation into the death
of 13 premature babies in a hospital in Izmir.

- A government decree authorizing cross-border incursions into
northern Iraq for one more year has been sent to parliament for
approval.

- A report by Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Committee says about
widespread wiretapping fears in Turkey that it was not possible to
bug everyone because of technical and legal reasons.

International News

- President Abdullah Gul began official meetings in New York on the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings.

ANKARA 00001693 003 OF 003

- Russian warships sail for Venezuela for joint exercises in
November.

- More than 1000 artifacts looted from Iraqi sites and museums in
2003 have been returned to Iraq.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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