Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO9953
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1965/01 3181235
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131235Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7982
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 9303
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 5001
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3391
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6973
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6825
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3394
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 001965

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
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008

In Today's Papers
Q Steps toward Rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia
Q Erdogan's Brotherly Advice for Obama
Q G20 Approaches Amid Optimism and Cynicism
Q Ergenekon Suspect Interrogated Regarding U.S. Consulate Attack
Q Regional Energy Summit in Baku
Q Another Turkish Ship Hijacked by Somali Pirates


Cartoon from today's mainstream Sabah, depicting
U.S. President George Bush escaping from the '2008 Economic Crisis'

and leaving President-elect Barack Obama to deal with it.

Steps toward Rapprochement Between Turkey and Armenia
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Taraf, Zaman, Yeni Safak and Radikal carry
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's announcement to the press about an
upcoming visit from the Armenian Foreign Minister to Ankara. FM
Babacan said, "Turkey should not wait for another football match to
meet (with Armenian officials." Babacan added, "There will be
intense diplomatic contacts in the Caucasus in the days ahead.
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Babacan confirmed that Georgian
Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili "Tbilisi has decided to join the
Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform."

Erdogan's Brotherly Advice for Obama (Milliyet)
News outlets today cover Prime Minister Erdogan's interview in the
New York Times in which he offered some advice to the U.S.
president-elect and offered to facilitate talks between the U.S. and
Iran. Mainstream Hurriyet carries the headline, "Keep Your Spine
Strong and Don't Pick Fights," and notes, "because Barack Obama did
not agree to meet with Erdogan during the G20 Summit, a trusted
source told Hurriyet that relations between Obama and Ankara have
gotten off to a bad start." Mainstream Milliyet reports in
"Brotherly Advice," that "the Prime Minister with six years of
experience had some suggestions" for the president-elect, but the
New York Times noted Erdogan's administration "drew reactions after
inviting the likes of Hamas to meetings in Ankara." Mainstream
Sabah calls Erdogan's offer to mediate between the U.S. and Iran,
"an official statement from the Prime Minister."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet's tone indicates a sense the PM has
bitten off more than he can chew with this mediation offer, "Erdogan
wants to be the mediator between the U.S. and Iran," as "Iranian
officials accuse the IAEA of double standards in the latest IAEA
report on Iran's nuclear activities."

Editorial Commentary on New U.S. Administration

Tamer Korkmaz wrote in Islamist oriented Yeni Safak:
"Traditional U.S. dominance in the Middle East has diminished
significantly since Turkey has emerged as a regional power. Because
of this, the U.S. had to suspend its Greater Middle East Project.
The new American administration under Barack Obama's leadership may
or may not bring hope to the region. Given the current staffing
pattern, Obama is already surrounded by a pro-Israeli team,
including Rahm Emanuel. It will be a complete loss for America if
the pro-Israeli voice in the new administration prevails and if
Obama fails to bring concrete change to the Middle East. Unless
fundamental steps are taken, the United States' image under Obama
could even fall behind the level of the Bush administration's
time."

Fikret Ertan wrote in Islamist-oriented Zaman: "The solution to
the war in Afghanistan lies not only in a military approach, but the
Afghan military must be strengthened, intelligence agencies and
collection activities must be developed, infrastructure development
work and more development personnel are necessary, and the Afghan
government must be able to better protect these works. We think
that it is important to covey these ideas to the new American
administration."

ANKARA 00001965 002 OF 003

Ismet Berkan wrote in liberal Radikal: "Recently, Yeni Safak
columnist Fehmi Koru said on television that Erdogan came to power
like Obama, but governed like Bush. While Erdogan responded, "We
are neither Obama or Bush, we are ourselves," this is the latest
example of criticism against the PM from these ranks. At the same
time, what has happened in the U.S.? The day after Obama was
elected, he held a press conference where he said he'd get a dog for
the girls, and now everyone wants to know about the dogs. He made a
comment that most dogs that are adopted from the pound are "mutts
like me." What a witty comment. Due to these distinct differences
in Erdogan's and Obama's approaches to the media, from now on, we
can compare the tone and the approach of both Erdogan and Obama to
the media."

G20 Approaches Amid Optimism and Cynicism
Media outlets are mixed in their views of the efficacy of the
upcoming G20, but some note the summit could bring some calm to
volatility in the Turkish market, while others continue to deny any
problems exist at all in the Turkish economy as a result of the
global crisis. Mainstream Hurriyet reports on its website, "The G20
summit will be held during Bush's "lame duck" period. His
administration is seen as partly responsible for the current global
financial crisis. Because Bush is considered to have lost his
credibility on economic matters, his pledges may not be taken
seriously at the G20 summit." Liberal Radikal notes, "World leaders
want to meet with Obama during their visits to the U.S. for the G20
Summit, but Obama will not meet with them because he's busy in the
process of establishing a new government," but "the whole world is
wondering what path the new government will take to address the
economy." In "Hope is in Washington," columnist Bilal Cetin of
mainstream Vatan hopes the G20 summit will soften Erdogan's approach
to an agreement with the IMF, "so that the economic bureaucracy will
look more positively at an agreement with the IMF and a swap
agreement with the Fed," in order to "strengthen the hand against
reckless speculation and ease the psychological effects of the
current markets." Meanwhile, Islamist-oriented Zaman does not
mention a need for Turkey to consider a different economic course
after the G20 and in fact continues to support the government's
economic approach, "Despite the global economic crisis, foreigners
continue to trust and invest in Turkey's economy," at "a level of
development that is not seen even in Europe."

Editorial Commentary on G-20 Summit

Erdal Saglam wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "Good news from the
upcoming G-20 summit is critically important for the entire world,
but as far as Turkey is concerned it is even more important to us
than any other country. Domestic markets are completely dependent
on the potential for good news from the G-20. Since the global
crisis has not yet come to a complete end and more fluctuations are
expected, Turkey is doomed to suffer seriously, especially if the
G-20 summit fails to achieve any concrete results."

Bilal Cetin of mainstream Vatan writes in "Hope is in
Washington" that he hopes the G20 summit will soften Erdogan's
approach to an agreement with the IMF, "so that the economic
bureaucracy will look more positively at an agreement with the IMF
and a swap agreement with the Fed," in order to "strengthen the hand
against reckless speculation and ease the psychological effects of
the current markets."

'Ergenekon' Suspect Interrogated over U.S. Consulate Attack
Media outlets report the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office interrogated
Erol Olmez regarding the bloody terror attack on the U.S. Istanbul
Consulate in July. Bulent Cinar, one of the three assailants killed
in the attack on the consulate, had a history of phone calls with
Olmez, who is being held on charges related to the Ergenekon
investigation.


ANKARA 00001965 003 OF 003


Regional Energy Summit in Baku
Islamist oriented Yeni Safak reports President Gul will attend
this week's Energy Summit in Baku. "Upon an invitation from
Azerbaijani President Aliyev, President Gul leaves today for Baku to
attend the Energy Summit today and tomorrow" the story says.
Minister of Energy Hilmi Guler will accompany to the president and
the party will return from Baku on November 14.

Another Turkish Vessel Hijacked by Somali Pirates
Media outlets report the 'Karagol,' a Turkish-flagged tanker with
14 Turkish crew members, was
hijacked Wednesday by Somali pirates off the coast of Yemen.
Kemal Yardimci, a ruling AKP MP from Istanbul, co-owns the ship.
The Karagol was sailing to Mumbai with 4,500 tons of chemical
substances on board when it was seized. Yardimci said "the pirates
are unlikely to sell the oil products the vessel is carrying," and
he expects the hijackers to demand ransom. Following the hijacking,
Ankara contacted NATO's British warships in Dubai, and asked them to
intervene, according to papers.

Freedom of Press/Accreditation Issue

Mehmet Ali Birand wrote in mass appeal Posta: "There is no excuse
for the prime ministry's decision to cancel press accreditations for
seven journalists. There is an impression in Turkey that every
institution seeks its own journalists and thus, an accreditation
fury is going on. The military keeps accredited journalists out of
its base while the prime ministry cancels journalists' accreditation
because they "do not follow the rules." After spending 25 years of
my life abroad as a journalist I know very well how common standards
of accreditation are administered. In the United States and Europe,
for example, accreditation is not used as discrimination. There is
only one rule - a journalist must prove his or her bona fides. The
only evidence needed to prove a journalist's bona fides is a letter
from the media outlet for which they work."

TV News: CNN Turk

Domestic News

- The prime ministry's Inspection Board blames the police and the
gendarme for failing to take the necessary measures to prevent the
killing of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

- State-owned broadcaster TRT said test Kurdish language broadcasts
would be launched in January.

- Children who participated in protests against police in the
southeastern city of Hakkari will be offered badminton training by
the Turkish Badminton Federation.

International News

- Crude oil prices lose ground and trade below USD 58 a barrel.

- The head of UNAIDS says millions of people suffering from HIV/AIDS
will die if major donors cut funding due to the global financial
crisis.

- The Dutch Justice Ministry considers raising the penalty for human
trafficking.

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