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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2008

In Today's Papers

Constitutional Court Releases Decision on the AKP Closure Case
All papers: The Constitutional Court released its written decision
in the AKP closure case yesterday. Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
reports that the Court determined that the AKP proved itself to be
the focal point of anti-secular acts through 30 different actions.
Mainstream Hurriyet notes that when PM Erdogan's commented, "let's
suppose the headscarf is a political symbol" such quotes were used
as proof of anti-secular sentiments. Among the reasons for the AKP
being described as the focal point of anti-secular acts were
"efforts to lower the age of students who may attend Quran courses,
anti-secular statements made by PM Erdogan and former Parliament
speaker Bulent Arinc, and the activities of education Minister
Huseyin Celik." The Constitutional Court decided not to close the
AKP for various reasons including efforts exerted for EU membership,
laws improving the status of non-Muslim minorities, the abolishment
of the death penalty and reforms for democratization including
positive steps for women's rights.

Meanwhile, today's papers report that PM Erdogan reacted to the
Constitutional Court's ruling on the headscarf and said "the Court
ignored the powers of the Parliament. The Constitutional Court is
not above the Constitution. We recognize no power above the
national will."

Editorial Commentary on the Constitutional Court Decisions

Taha Akyol wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "The Constitutional
Court's logical decision on the AKP closure case followed the
Court's logical verdict on the Headscarf ban. In every democracy,
either all or the majority of the Constitutional Court members are
elected by the parliament from the judiciary, administration or from
the universities. In Turkey, staffing sources for the
Constitutional Court are rather limited. If the court composition
is enriched in a country, then, the constitutional judiciary will
distance itself from the oligarchic structure and its democratic
lawfulness will be strengthened. It should be like this in Turkey
as well but, not now! I am calling on Mr. Prime Minister and Mr.
Bahceli: Turkey's priority for now is terror and the economy. Taking
valuable time to limit the Constitutional Court's authority at a
time like this will cause serious problems and eliminate all the
peace left in this country."

Nazli Ilicak wrote in mainstream Sabah: "Following the
Constitutional Court decision on the headscarf ban, at least for the
time being, the government has become unable to take any further
steps on the issue. The solution is to create new constitution, but
the AKP government will not exert any efforts on this issue now.
People will understand in time that banning parties will not bring
any solution. I hope when elections come again, the Turkish public
will remember the role of the CHP in all of these banning cases.
Because of the CHP's efforts, the headscarf issue has remained
unsolved. Moreover, the reputation of the parliament was damaged
and the Constitutional Court declared its guardianship over the
Turkish Parliament."

Oktay Eksi wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "PM Erdogan continued his
criticisms against the Constitutional Court yesterday. Isn't there
anyone close to the PM with some judicial background? PM Erdogan
should be advised on judicial issues and should be reminded that the
first rule for a democratic state is to respect the judiciary. Led
by the PM, the AKP continues their fight with Constitutional
principles. Here is a friendly piece of advice for the AKP - you
are just wasting your time are criticizing the judiciary. Don't
forget that the judiciary's slap is always very hard."

Next Ergenekon Hearing to be Held on October 27
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Zaman, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet and others:
The second session of the Ergenekon trial took place yesterday under

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tight security. Lawyers, journalists and the audience were allowed
in from separate entrances. Mainstream Hurriyet reports that some
of the lawyers complained that they were the targets of wire
tapping, and the judge responded by saying his phone might be tapped
as well. The Court denied some of the defendants' requests to be
released at Thursday's hearing and postponed the hearing to October
27.

Economic Crisis
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Vatan and others: Mainstream Sabah
reports that during a press conference, PM Erdogan said that Turkey
could turn global crisis into an opportunity and might overcome the
crisis with the least damage. Erdogan added that stance of banks
against real sector was not proper that banks were asking
manufacturers to pay high interest rates or were pressing their
clients to pay back their depts. Ahead of schedule. These are
immoral attitudes. Sabah notes that the economy administration
revealed emergency measures for coping with the crisis. Finance
Minister Unakitan said that the government will make arrangements to
offer convenient payment terms to the people with tax debts.
Unakitan stressed that individuals will be able to pay their taxes
in 18 month periods.

Editorial Commentary on Global Financial Crisis
Ibrahim Karagul of Yeni Safak writes: What happened to economic
globalization? What happened to neoliberalism? This financial
system is collapsing. Now the economy is so bad that the only
choice for the U.S. and Europe is to throw trillions of dollars at
the markets. The national deficit is so bad in the U.S. that the
share for each American has risen to $17,000. This means the Bush
Doctrine is completely finished. The Anglo-American imperial spirit
has resulted in a nightmare. There are three important developments
to note - strategic investment is an issue of national security,
there are expectations for hyper inflation in the U.S. in 2009, and
the establishment of an international guardianship mechanism will
prevent the U.S. economy from doing more damage to the world
economy.

Obama Promises to Repair Damage to Relations with Turkey
All media outlets report on their front pages that Barack Obama's
campaign website has outlined its new policy on Turkey. Mainstream
Sabah writes, "Obama gives warm messages for Turkey on his website."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet carries the headline, "Bush Pushed
Turkey Away from the West," and reports "U.S. Democratic
Presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to repair the strategic
partnership between the U.S. and Turkey." Islamist-oriented Yeni
Safak carries the front-page banner headline "Bush Revived the PKK,"
and reports Obama's website says, "The Bush Administration's failed
policies in Iraq further strengthened the PKK." Islamist-oriented
Zaman reports, "If Obama is elected, he will repair relations with
Turkey." In "We Will Win Turkey Back," mainstream Milliyet reports
Obama promises, "Good and close relations with Turkey are in our
nation's interests." Liberal Radikal reports, "Obama also called on
the Iraqi Kurds to give a guarantee to Turkey against the PKK."
Leftist Taraf notes, "this time he did not call Turkey an 'invader'
in Cyprus, but rather defended efforts that seek the unification of
Cyprus."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- PM Erdogan sues MHP leader Devlet Bahceli for insulting the PM
during a speech in parliament.

- The AKP sets up a special commission to evaluate the Court's
detailed ruling regarding the AKP closure case.

- Parliament's commission for human rights conducts inspections in

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Metris prison to probe allegations of torture that led to the death
of inmate Engin Ceber.


International News

- Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama expanded his
national lead over Republican John McCain in the U.S presidential
race to 12 points.

- Russian FM Lavrov criticizes the EU monitors for failing to pay
attention to the Georgian troop movements.

- The Armenian foreign minister said he was optimistic about future
ties with Turkey. WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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