Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO2825
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1991/01 3221446
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171446Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8028
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 9311
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 5022
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3401
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6980
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6833
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3402
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 001991

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
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008

In Today's Papers

Erdogan's Iran Remarks Create Controversy
Media outlets over the weekend and today carried Prime Minister
Erdogan's address to the Brookings Institution in Washington, in
which the PM made some controversial remarks on Iran.
In response to a question about Iran's nuclear aspirations, Erdogan
said "The countries who are working to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran
should also not own nuclear weapons." Erdogan added,"The use of
nuclear energy for the production of nuclear weapons is
unacceptable," and he stressed that Turkey continued "to warn" Iran
on this matter. In, "Erdogan Puts up a Nuclear Shield over Iran,"
liberal Radikal reported on Sunday that Erdogan defended Iran.
Mainstream Milliyet says Erdogan's remarks are in direct opposition
to Turkey's official disarmament policy because up to this point,
Turkey has viewed a nuclear-armed U.S. as a necessity for the
security of Turkey and its NATO allies. Retired ambassadors reacted
to the PM's remarks in Sunday's Milliyet. Retired ambassador Umit
Pamir said, "If Erdogan was referring to the U.S. when he called on
those who oppose Iran's nuclear program to disarm, then his
statement contradicts NATO's defense doctrine." Retired ambassador
Ilter Turkmen asked in Milliyet, "Where did this feeling of
solidarity with Iran come from? Do we see Iran as a responsible
state?"

Editorial Commentary on Erdogan on Iran

Tamer Korkmaz wrote in Islamist oriented Yeni Safak: "Whenever PM
Erdogan tries to address the nuclear weapons crisis in a
comprehensive manner by emphasizing that 'Iran as well as others
should have no nuclear weapons,' he gets criticized by some for
deviating from the American and NATO line. Why should improvements
in ties between Turkey and Iran negatively affect Turkish-American
relations? Let's not forget that when former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter spoke with Hamas leaders, he was criticized both by Israelis
and Americans. However, it was also Jimmy Carter who had the
courage to say that Israel has 150 nuclear weapons. But, some of
our former diplomats and commentators like to take a double standard
regarding nuclear capabilities. In their world, it's okay if Israel
has WMD, but even the possibility of Iran having WMD is
unacceptable."

Semih Idiz wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "In order to 'form a
bridge' between Turkey and the incoming Obama Administration, PM
Erdogan decided to speak at the Brookings Institute, which is
considered to be the ivory tower of the Democrats. However, in his
remarks regarding Iran's nuclear program, Erdogan made a big gaffe
to anger the U.S. Unfortunately, his remarks upset the U.S. and all
of Turkey's NATO allies. Erdogan's foreign policy advisers should
remind him that it takes a long time to mend the damage from
tactless remarks. On the eve of a new era with the new
administration in the U.S., Turkey should be careful to consider our
mutual interests through diplomatic dialogue."

Okay Gonensin wrote in mainstream Vatan: "During his visit to the
U.S., PM Erdogan made a political gaffe by saying "The countries who
are working to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran should also not own
nuclear weapons." Turkey's PM can use such logic only if he is
unaware of the efforts exerted globally regarding nuclear
non-proliferation. Obviously, PM Erdogan did not consider the
impact these words would have on Turkey's NATO allies. Moreover,
Iran's nuclear power is a huge threat for us, our region and the
entire world. PM Erdogan's defense of Iran indicates that he can
make big mistakes in foreign policy, which an issue of grave
concern."

Mustafa Balbay wrote in leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet: "In its
essence, the PM's statement on Iran is right. The U.S. follows a
policy of allowing the countries that it favors to have nuclear
weapons, but not allowing them in other countries that it does not

ANKARA 00001991 002 OF 003


hold favorable. And Erdogan rejects this. If this is our official
policy, then our job should not be mediating between Iran and the
U.S."

Kadri Gursel in mass appeal Milliyet (11/16): "PM Erdogan's remarks
contradict to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signed by Turkey,
as well as to the national interests of Turkey as a member of the
Western alliance. A nuclear Iran would pose a big threat for
Turkey. The messages issued by Erdogan at the Brookings Institution
known for its close ties with the Democrat Party must have aroused
serious suspicions. The PM has shown that he is not impartial, and
this has harmed his ability to act as go-between in the nuclear
controversy between the U.S. and Iran."

Germany's Obama: Cem Ozdemir
Media outlets hail the success story of the new German Green Party
leader Cem Ozdemir who was elected co-chairman of the party on
Saturday. Reports are featured on the front pages of Sunday's
papers and some continue into Monday papers by emphasizing Cem
Ozdemir is the first ethnic Turk to be selected as a leader of a
political party in Germany. Ozdemir's rise within the Green Party
is compared to Barack Obama's rise in the Democratic Party.
Mainstream Hurriyet asked on Sunday in its banner headline, "Is Cem
the Obama of Germany?" while Islamist oriented Yeni Safak headlined
with, "The First Turkish Leader in Germany." Islamist oriented Zaman
played off of Obama's campaign slogan by inserting Ozdemir's first
name, "Yes We Cem." Mainstream Aksam called Ozdemir, "Germany's
Turkish Obama."

Turkey-Iran Natural Gas Deal
Islamist oriented Yeni Safak reports that negotiations continue
between Turkey and Iran in order to increase level of natural gas
flow. Turkish Energy Minister Guler is leading a Turkish delegation
to Iran today and negotiations will continue with his Iranian
counterpart Oil Minister Gulam Nozari. Based on earlier statements
made by the two ministers, Yeni Safak reports that Ankara "hopes to
conclude a Memorandum of Understanding with Iran and get more
natural gas from this country."

Turkish Media Criticize G20 Summit
Media outlets are not impressed with the outcome of the G20 summit -
namely due to the lack of a decisive action plan. Reports of $500
bottles of wine that were served at the summit fueled criticism of
the G20 leaders' ability to deliver relief to those who are
suffering from the effects of this crisis. Mainstream Hurriyet
carries the headline, "Criticism is Directed at the $53.6 Trillion
Summit - Where Are the Concrete Steps?" Hurriyet reports, "The 20
countries that comprise 86% of the world's economy have, altogether,
infused their economies with $53.6 trillion in order to curb the
financial crisis." However, the paper also points out, "Talks will
continue," but notes, "There is no concrete plan." Mainstream Sabah
reports, "The G20 decide to tighten their belts" regarding public
expenditures in order to "support economic growth."

Huseyin Bas of leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet writes in "From One
Summit to Another," that "while we wait on the next summit (in April
2009), the recession will not stop, and the effects from rising
rates of unemployment will be felt in our daily lives."
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports, "We Must Get Off of the Donkey
before We Ride the Horse," referring to the need of the G20 leaders,
including "the U.S. with its large public expenditures on military
initiatives," to be unified in efforts to redirect their priorities
towards encouragement of economic growth (i.e. the horse) instead of
towards public expenditures (i.e. the donkey). Islamist-oriented
Yeni Safak reports, "The G20 leaders talked to Bush, but they did
not make any promises."

Cartoon from today's leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet depicting Uncle
Sam forcing a sweating Atlas to hold up the world.


ANKARA 00001991 003 OF 003

The U.S. Sets a Date (Ortadogu)
Media outlets report on the Iraqi Cabinet's approval of a Status of
Forces agreement with the U.S. - focus is on the timeline for
withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Mainstream Milliyet reports in
a banner front-page headline, "The U.S. Will Withdraw in 2011."
Mainstream Hurriyet carries the front-page feature headline, "This
is How This Era Will End," as "the Baghdad government approves a
timetable for the withdrawal of 152,000 U.S. troops from Iraq."
Mainstream Sabah reports, "Baghdad and the U.S. Finally Reconcile
Their Differences." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet carries the
headline, "The U.S. Will Stay in Iraq for Three More Years."
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports on its front page, "The U.S. will
stay in Iraq until 2012." Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports, in
"The U.S. will stay in Iraq for Three More Years," that, "the
agreement is final and cannot be changed," which "poses a challenge
to President-elect Barack Obama's promises to withdraw by the end of
2009." Far-right Ortadogu reports, "Here is the day the U.S. has set
to withdraw completely from Iraq - November 15, 2011," and notes,
"The White House was pleased to hear of the Iraqi Cabinet's
decision," as "from March 20, 2003 until now, talks have finally
come to an end regarding when U.S. troops will leave Iraq."

Editorial Commentary on Iraq

Fatih Cekirge argued in mainstream Hurriyet: "There are some
important issues to be considered prior to the U.S. withdrawal from
Iraq. What is going to happen if the north falls under full control
of the Peshmerge forces? What if the Peshmerge forces refuse to
become part of national army? What are the security arrangements
going to be in Musul and Kirkuk? And, most important of all, will
the U.S. establish a military base in northern Iraq? Unless those
issues are addressed, Turkey faces continued security threats from
northern Iraq. Turkey must make sure to pursue full contact and
direct engagement in Iraq before it is too late."


TV News: CNN Turk

Domestic News

- At the end of November, AKP officials will hold a two-day meeting
in Kizilcahamam to discuss preparations for the forthcoming
municipality elections and the problems facing the Kurds and the
Alevis.

- On Monday, Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders Christofias and Talat
will come together for talks.

- IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Turkey and the
IMF should reach an agreement on a finance package in the near
future.

International News

- Iraq endorses a security agreement with the U.S. that would allow
an American military presence in the country until 2011.

- Afghan President Hamid Karzai offers to protect Taliban's fugitive
leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in exchange for peace.

- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert orders the army to speed up
plans for wide-scale operations against rocket attacks from Gaza.

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