Cablegate: Turkish Media Recommendations in Run-Up to Potus

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

260928Z Apr 04




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Ankara 2010

1. As we approach the June 26-29 POTUS visit to Turkey for
bilateral meetings in Ankara and the NATO Summit in
Istanbul, Turkish press interest in the visit is building.
The embassy has received numerous requests from Turkish
media outlets to interview USG principals in the run-up to
the visit, and we anticipate that similar requests will be
made from Turkish media representatives in Washington. This
message details embassy recommendations for possible events
with the Turkish media to set the stage for the visit and
provide context for both the bilateral portion and the

2. Embassy recommends that the President or NSC Advisor Rice
hold one interview with Turkish print media and one with
electronic media some time in June:

For a print media event, we would suggest a press roundtable
with a group of leading editors and columnists, to include:

-- Ferai Tinc, diplomatic news editor of "Hurriyet,"
Turkey's largest circulation daily;
-- Mehmet Barlas, columnist in the Turkish daily "Sabah";
-- Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of Islamist-oriented
-- Oral Calislar, columnist in left-leaning "Cumhuriyet."

All suggested participants are English speakers, and we
believe they would be willing to travel to Washington for
the roundtable.

For the television, the embassy recommends a one-on-one
interview. Preferred options would be:

-- TRT, Turkey's state broadcaster, with an interviewer to
be vetted by the embassy (note: we understand from Prime
Minister Erdogan's staff that in his January White House
meeting, Erdogan suggested, and the President reportedly
agreed, that Ugur Dundar, a veteran anchorman who frequently
does contract work for TRT, would be a good choice);
-- NTV, Turkey's leading all-news channel, with the
station's Ankara representative, Murat Akgun.

The interview would take place in Washington. Both Dundar
and Akgun are English speakers.

3. In addition, the embassy recommends that Secretary Powell
appear on Turkish television in early June. We recommend a
series of two or three interviews to reach the broadest
possible audience. Recommended options include:

-- TRT or NTV as recommended above;
-- Nuray Basaran and Faruk Demir, SHOW-TV, one of Turkey's
popular channels (embassy is already on record supporting
this request - see reftel). Note: Basaran and Demir do not
speak English. They are requesting a late April time-frame
for this interview. However, it could be held for June as a
scenesetter for the visit.
-- Kanal-D, another popular channel, with the station's news
director, Metehan Demir. Demir's interview would also
appear in Turkey's largest circulation daily "Hurriyet,"
which is owned by the same media group;
-- CNN-Turk, an all-news channel, with interviewer Mehmet
Ali Birand. (Note: Birand has proposed a joint interview
with Alexis Papahelas of Greece's MEGA-TV. We defer to
Athens for its assessment of Papahelas and MEGA-TV.)


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