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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2007


In Today's Papers

CHP-MHP War of Words over Gul's Presidential Drive
All papers report the opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal accused the
extreme-nationalist MHP of paving the way for Abdullah Gul to become
president. Baykal criticized the MHP's participation in the
presidential election in parliament, prompting the MHP to respond by
criticizing the CHP for not taking part in the voting. "The CHP has
begun to oppose the opposition as well; the party is placing its
hopes on forces outside democracy," MHP Secretary-General Cihan
Pacaci said.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning opposition DSP called on the CHP to
support its candidate, Tayfun Icli, in the remaining rounds of the
presidential race since the two candidates receiving most votes
would compete in the third round slated for August 28.

Anti-Defamation League Adopts Armenian Genocide Claims
All papers report the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released
a statement Tuesday saying Turkey's actions against Armenians during
World War I years "were tantamount to genocide." ADL National
Director Abraham Foxman said "We have never negated, but have always
described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman
Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities."

Papers report Turkish sources said the shift in the ADL stance could
negatively impact Turkey's close relationship with Israel. Turkish
Foreign Ministry (MFA) said in a statement yesterday, "The
definition of the 1915 events in the statement released by the ADL
as 'genocide' is both historically and legally baseless." The MFA
added that the Jewish community in Turkey was a part of Turkish
society. "We consider this statement, which is also unjust against
the memory of victims of the Holocaust, unfortunate. We expect the
ADL to correct their mistake," the MFA stressed.

Mainstream Sabah believes the change in the stance of Jewish groups
was due to Turkey's rapprochement with Hamas and Iran, predicting
that efforts to pass an Armenian genocide resolution by the US
congress will intensify. Mainstream Milliyet warns that the shift
in the ADL position might influence other Jewish groups in the US,
leading to a further isolation of Turkey. The paper also reports
Ankara has asked Israel to intervene in the crisis.
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Israeli President Shimon Peres will
phone Erdogan today to discuss the matter, and other papers say
Ankara will ask Israel to press the ADL to reverse its decision.
The Israeli Embassy in Ankara released a statement announcing there
was no change in its position. Israeli Ambassador Pinhas Avivi will
discuss the issue with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul during a
farewell call on the FM today, say papers.

Editorial Commentary on ADL Shift Regarding Armenian Genocide
Semih Idiz writes in the mainstream daily Milliyet: "Turkey has so
far enjoyed the support of the Jewish lobby in the prevention of the
approval of an Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress.
This support mainly was a result of the strength of Turkish-American
as well as Turkish-Israeli relations. Things started to change
following the Iraq occupation and Israel-Palestine conflict, when
anti-American and anti-Israeli feelings peaked. Jewish
organizations in the US have started wondering why they should be
helping out Turks when Turks hate them. The recent decision by the
ADL is not something that happened overnight. The world system
works on the basis of reciprocity and Jews do not have reason enough
to support Turkey anymore. Even though the ADL noted it remained
opposed to an Armenian genocide resolution in the Congress, the fact
of the matter is that the Congress will certainly make note of the
ADL's recognition of genocide. This development is a serious loss
for Turkey."

Iraqi Vice-President Hashimi Comes to Turkey
Sabah, Zaman: PM Erdogan invited Iraqi First Deputy President Sunni

ANKARA 00002210 002 OF 003


leader Tariq Al-Hashimi to Ankara to try to help solve the
government crisis in Iraq. Mainstream Sabah reports that Erdogan
sent the Prime Ministry's plane to Iraq for Hashimi today and will
host a dinner in honor of Hashimi tonight. Islamist oriented Zaman
reports that Shiite Vice-President Adil Abdul-Mahdi is also planning
to visit Turkey soon.

Editorial Commentary on Iraq
Kubilay Celik writes in the tabloid-nationalist daily Tercuman: "The
US is searching to find a way out of the Iraqi quagmire. US
presidents are traditionally labeled lame ducks during their last
year in office. Given President Bush's situation vis-`-vis the Iraq
war, I think he should be called a 'lost duck.' Under growing
pressure from the American public and the Democrats, the Washington
administration is now seriously talking about withdrawal. Given the
presence of 160,000 soldiers, there are two likely options, just as
discussed by Democratic Party candidates recently: pulling forces
out through the south which means through Kuwait, or through the
north which means Turkey. Such debates give a clear indication that
sooner or later a pull-out plan from Iraq will be implemented. When
things get serious, Washington will knock on the door for sure.
Turkey has to be prepared for such a development."

US Gives Green Light to Greek Cypriot Oil Exploration
Cumhuriyet, Milliyet report that the US State Department has
extended support to the Greek Cypriot Government by saying the Greek
Cypriot Government, as a 'sovereign nation,' has the right to
request bids for oil and natural gas exploration within its own
economic zone. The US State Department confirmed that one US firm
was among the bidders and stated that the involvement of US firms in
such investment is a business decision. Papers quote a State
Department official saying that 'Washington is not a party to the
dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkey. The controversy,
however, points to the need for all parties to focus on restarting
the UN's Good Office's Mission to forge a comprehensive Cyprus
settlement that reunifies the island in a bi-zonal, bi-communal
federation.'

DTP Will Redefine the Kurdish Problem
Yeni Safak reports that at its party convention on October 28, DTP
is going to "redefine the Kurdish problem." The commission that
includes DTP Vice Chairmen Nurettin Demirtas, Selma Irmak and
Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir is conducting preparatory work for
the convention. The board members will work on a proposal to define
the Kurdish problem and suggest approaches to solutions to be raised
in the parliament.

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Opposition CHP is to file a motion for parliamentary inquiry in
connection with the words of Prime Minister Erdogan, referring to
Hurriyet columnist Bekir Coskun, that those who do not accept
Abdullah Gul as their next president should renounce their
citizenship and leave the country. Turkish newspapers, NGOs and
opposition parties described as "undemocratic" Erdogan's attack on
Coskun. The Prime Minister's office said PM Erdogan's words were
not directed against a single individual, claiming the controversy
about Bekir Coskun was triggered by Hurriyet daily.

- The Turkish Foreign Ministry has asked Turkish workers living
abroad to file suits against the new German immigration law.

- A survey conducted by the Turkish Central Bank predicts the
year-end inflation to stand around 7.16 percent.

International News


ANKARA 00002210 003 OF 003


- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, on a visit to Syria, rejected
US criticism of his government and said only the Iraqi people could
decide its fate.

- Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos blamed the Turkish side for the
deadlock in Cyprus, saying he will insist on a federal settlement in
the divided island.

- President Putin plans to revive Russia's military power and
restore its role as the world's leading producer of military
aircraft.

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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