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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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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, NOVEMBER 7, 2008

In Today's Papers

Obama's Victory and the Challenges
Some media outlets continue to praise the inspiration Obama's
victory has brought to the world. Mainstream Hurriyet carries the
headline, "Love for Obamerica," and reports, "Obama has spread
inspiration all over the world," as "the winds of change have spread
from Africa to Australia and the question becomes: will there be an
Aborignal prime minister in Australia some day? A Turkish prime
minister in Germany? Or even in Turkey, could a Kurd become
president?" Islamist oriented Yeni Safak reports, "Obama's victory
in America has started blowing the winds of courage for freedom
throughout the world."

While others note the distinct challenges the President-elect faces.
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports, "The first news for Obama from
Afghanistan is 'a civilian massacre,'" as "23 children and 10 women
were killed by an American air strike in Afghanistan."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports, "Russia took new steps
yesterday against the U.S. missile shield." Zaman also reports,
"PKK leaders Murat Karayilan and Zubeyir Aydar have joined the names
of those who have sent letters of congratulations to the new U.S.
President. " In their letter, published "on a web site that is
close to the terrorist organization," the leaders "criticize the
Bush administration for calling the PKK a terrorist organization,"
and "call for a solution to the Kurdish problem." Yasin Dogan of
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak writes, "Obama's new policies in Iraq
will affect Turkey," for instance, "A U.S. withdrawal from Iraq
could bring the Iraqi Kurds and Turkey closer together." Mainstream
Milliyet reports President-elect Obama "Is Taking Over the Wreckage"
of the American economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah writes "CHP leader Baykal believes there
would be a serious change in the moderate Islam policies of the
US."

In a related story, liberal Radikal interprets Iranian President
Ahmedinejad's congratulations to Obama on his victory as 'a rare
praise,' noting it is the first time since Iran's 1979 Islamic
revolution that such a message has been communicated.

Editorial opinion on President Elect Barack Obama
Murat Yetkin wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal: "There is a
serious risk of increased tension in troubled areas of the world
until Barack Obama takes charge. Moreover, many of these troubled
areas are in Turkey's neighborhood. The UN mandate in Iraq will
expire and unless Iraqi parliament signs a security agreement with
the United States before January, the US may leave. A new UNSC
resolution on this matter would most probably face a Russian veto.
The situation in Afghanistan is worsening with every passing day.
Uncertainty in Pakistan is also an immediate problem. Turkey should
think of ways to turn these risks into opportunities before January
20."

Muharrem Sarikaya wrote in mainstream Sabah: "The Italian Foreign
Minister questioned 'Will Obama be a hope for Turkey's EU process or
will he be a problem in resolving many regional issues, including
the Armenian issue?' It's a good idea to look at previous Democrat
administrations in the US to find the right answer to this question.
The most recent example is Clinton who, together with his party,
played a significant role in Turkey's EU process and in resolving
many regional issues. Despite all that support, Turkey's preference
in the US has been the Republicans. With Obama's presidency, there
will be different issues in Turkey-US relations. But these will not
remained unresolved issues like a sword of Damocles forever hanging
over Turkey. As has happened in the past, with a Democrat
president, every problem will be resolved."

Sami Kohen wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "The global positive
attitude to Obama's victory is a great opportunity not only for
himself but for the US as well. If Obama fulfills all his promises,

ANKARA 00001932 002 OF 003


then the US will have a chance to improve its damaged image. There
is one drawback: that people's expectations for Obama will be too
high. How much of the current foreign policies could be changed by
Obama? There is no doubt that Obama's stance and approach to
foreign issues will be different, but will he be able to pursue
completely different policies towards big individual problems like
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia? It is only natural for him
to keep in mind the US' basic strategic and economic interests while
shaping his foreign policies. Nevertheless, the world considers
Obama as an opportunity for a peaceful world."

Turkey Will Host Caucasus Trilateral
Media outlets carry excerpts from visiting Azeri President Aliyev's
address at the Turkish Parliament where he praised Turkey's
mediation efforts in the region, including President Gul's recent
rapprochement with Armenia. Aliyev also emphasized the Nagorno
Karabakh issue by calling it "the most important challenge to
stability in the region," yet expressed some hope that Turkey's
regional efforts may be a positive contribution. "Our hopes have
increased because of Turkey's recent efforts in the region. We will
watch new political steps" Aliyev said.

Zaman front page feature reads: "Gul Will Bring Armenian and Azeri
President Together in Istanbul." In connection with the Aliyev
reports, Islamist oriented Zaman and mass appeal Aksam add that
Turkey is preparing to host a trilateral summit between Azerbaijan
and Armenia. Armenian President Sargsyan was asked to comment
during his Brussels trip, and President Sargsyan said "I will be
happy to meet with President Aliyev on any occasion." The Zaman
report also quoted Azeri Foreign Minister Mammadyarov as saying a
Turkey-hosted trilateral summit would not focus only on the Nagorno
Karabakh issue, but would also cover other issues of mutual concern.
According to Zaman, Ankara's initiative to host a trilateral is a
deliberate step to prevent potential escalation of the Armenian
genocide controversy in the US presidential election aftermath.

Court Rejects Objections to Release Rape Suspect Islamist Journalist
Uzmez
Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, Posta, Radikal, Vatan and others: Bursa 5th
Heavy Penal Court rejected the objections to the release of Hussein
Uzmez yesterday. Uzmez had been released from jail, pending trial
for sexually abusing a 14 year old girl, after a medical report of
the Council of Forensic Medicine claimed that the victim was not
harmed physically or emotionally.

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

- Justice Minister Sahin said the AKP had no concerns about the
investigation initiated by the Yargitay Chief Prosecutor in
connection with links to the Deniz Feneri charity fraud case.

- The Court completed reading 1794 pages of the Ergenekon
indictment

- A police officer facing trial for the death of Feyzullah Ete in a
park in Istanbul, has been released. Ete died after he was kicked
on the chest by the police officer

- DTP Viransehir-Sanliurfa provincial chair Emrullah Cin is given
an18-month prison sentence for spreading PKK propaganda

- The Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline carrying oil from Iraq to Turkey
was damaged by an explosion in the Sanliurfa region. The blast
halted supplies and caused a large spill in the area, potentially
endangering the nearby Ataturk dam. The Sanliurfa Governor said the
cause of the blast was a technical problem.

ANKARA 00001932 003 OF 003


World

-President-elect Barack Obama offers the White House chief of staff
position to Rep. Rahm Emanuel

- The Romanian Defense Minister said the country's 501 peacekeepers
in Iraq will all leave by the end of the year

- EU Commissioner Olli Rehn said Turkey's membership is important
for Europe

- A Russian newspaper claimed that Vladimir Putin will return as the
president next year

- Israeli FM Livni criticized Obama for announcing his willingness
to talk with Iran regarding its nuclear program
WILSON

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