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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2009

In Today's Papers

Ambassador Jeffrey Follows Up On Obama's Cairo Speech

Mainstream Posta carries Ankara Bureau Chief Hakan Celik's interview
with Ambassador Jeffrey regarding the Obama administration's
outreach efforts to the Muslim world and Obama's approach to
relations between the U.S. and Turkey. In "We Have Abandoned
Calling (Turkey) Moderately Islamic," Ambassador Jeffrey says, "In
his Cairo speech, President Obama stressed that the U.S. has respect
for Islam," and "We do not think it is appropriate to categorize a
religion by using words like 'moderate.'" In addition, Jeffrey
noted, "The PKK problem did serious damage to relations between the
U.S. and Turkey," and "I don't know why some in Turkey thought that
we supported the PKK," but "We have supported Turkey in its struggle
with the PKK since the 1980s." Jeffrey also expressed support for
Turkey's democratic reform process, the normalization process
between Turkey and Armenia, and the key role that Turkey plays in
the region.

Interior Minister Meets Opposition and NGO Leaders Regarding the
'Kurdish Initiative'
Media outlets report that Interior Minister Besir Atalay met with
the leaders of social democrat political party DSP, the
Islamist-nationalist BBP and conservative DP as well as the union of
chambers, TOBB, in order to discuss his government's 'Kurdish
Initiative.' Liberal Radikal reports that on Wednesday, Atalay
visited Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the chairman of the union of chambers,
TOBB, within the scope of the government's "democratic move" which
aims to find a solution to Turkey's Kurdish question.
Hisarciklioglu said TOBB's vision was improving rights and freedoms
in Turkey to EU standards. "Turkey must have a first class
democracy," said Hisarciklioglu. In their meeting, DSP leader Masum
Turker reportedly told Atalay, "There should be no U.S. shadow cast
over this process," and "We must solve this problem among
ourselves." DP leader Husamettin Cindoruk said, "We will support to
the end a democratic initiative which is taken under guarantees
within the framework of a fresh constitution to be fully democratic
and at contemporary standards, and which covers all the citizens of
the Republic of Turkey," according to Radikal.

Editorial Debate on Government's Kurdish Initiative

Mehmet Yilmaz wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "The DTP's, Emine Ayna
recently assured that none of the actors in the Kurdish process can
possibly be eliminated. She also made it very clear that the PKK
and its imprisoned leader Ocalan should be included in the process.
This makes one thing obvious: the PKK is determined to sabotage the
government's initiative."

Yasin Dogan wrote in Islamist oriented Yeni Safak: "The government
will have to be very careful not to rush towards a settlement.
First of all this is a procedure which takes time and secondly, any
hasty action has the potential to create more problems of other
kind. The current initiative does not necessarily mean the problem
should be solved at all costs."

Sahin Alpay wrote in Islamist oriented Zaman: "As part of the
ongoing process, if there is going to be an effort to talk with PKK
militants in mountain camps in order to persuade them to return
home, there should be an effort to approach imprisoned Ocalan as
well. It does not necessarily mean to free him but listen to his
opinions instead. Ocalan spent already 10 years in jail and
probably had enough time to look back and realize the mistakes of
the use of violence."

Fikret Bila wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "The ruling AKP made a
mistake by excluding opposition parties from the process. In fact
there are ways to be found to ensure their engagement. The main
opposition CHP's earlier offer on the subject can easily be a
starting point for consensus. CHP leader Baykal had said before the

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government's initiative that everything including an amnesty plan
could be discussed when and if PKK declares leaving weapons and
denounces violence. The government should take this idea as a
common platform which can easily bring the three main parties in the
parliament and eventually the DTP."


Ocalan Will Not Ask For 'Special Treatment' For Kurds in Roadmap
(Radikal)
Liberal Radikal's main story on page one outlines what could be
expected in the anticipated "roadmap" to be announced by the PKK's
imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, based on the recent statements of
some Kurdish activists with alleged links to the PKK chief. Radikal
says Ocalan was neither going to table "separatist demands," nor
demand a confederation, federation or autonomic administrative
structure. He will not demand changes in the constitution to assess
ethnic identities as the "constituent elements of the Turkish
state." Ocalan is not expected to ask for "special treatment" for
the Kurds, but will accept "constitutional citizenship" as well as
the principle of "equal citizenship." He is expected to suggest the
solution lies in "improving democracy and human rights criteria to
the European level." Ocalan's roadmap also requests an expanded
version of the AKP's "public sector reform law," which was vetoed by
former President Sezer, according to Radikal.

The AKP Government's First Economic Step for the Kurdish Initiative
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that while the debates on the Kurdish
move continue the government took the first economic step of the
project. State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz announced that three billion
Turkish lira will be allocated from the unemployment fund for
Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) and Eastern Anatolia Project (DAP).
Yilmaz said that the economic measures were more important than
cultural and social arrangements in solving the problems of the
region.

DTP Eruh Mayor: "We Will Announce Ocalan's Road Map in Eruh"
Mainstream Vatan reports that Siirt province's Eruh town DTP Mayor
Melik Oktay said that he will reveal jailed PKK leader Abdullah
Ocalan's road map for the Kurdish issue during 'Eruh Nature, Art and
Culture Festival' on August 15. Oktay said "Eruh is an important
place from the political angle. Therefore, during this process, we
will give a big start for the peace from Eruh. This is our target.
We want to gather the biggest group of people in here. Ocalan's
road map is considered very important among the Kurds and I believe
that everyone will be happy to hear it in here."

In a related story, mainstream Sabah reports that jailed PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan's brother Osman Ocalan, who left PKK in 2004 and
lives in Suleymaniye province in northern Iraq, said that he finds
the Turkish government's Kurdish initiative very positive and he is
ready to return to Turkey to contribute in this initiative.


Israel Says 'One Minute' To Turkish Mediation With Syria (Vatan)
Media carry Israeli Deputy PM Ayalon's statement to Reuters in which
he said Israel is no longer interested in conducting indirect peace
talks with Syria. Because Turkey had mediated the Israeli-Syrian
indirect talks up until late last year, media note that Avalon's
statement translated into Israel's 'rejection' of Turkey's
mediation. Mainstream Hurriyet headlines, "Israel: Turkey's
Mediation Is Finished." Mainstream Haberturk headlines, "Israel
Doesn't Want Turkey." Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak headlines, "They
Are Rejecting Turkey the Moderator." CNN Turk reports, "Israel Says
'No' To Indirect Talks with Syria," as, "Israel closes the door."
Mainstream Vatan calls the move "Israel says 'one minute' to Turkish
mediation with Syria," in a reference to PM Erdogan's outburst at
the Israeli President during a panel discussion on Gaza at the Davos
economic summit earlier this year.

Google "Supports" Armenian Genocide Claims Mainstream Vatan and
conservative Bugun report that following the pressure by the

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Armenians, Google eliminated the links to the Turkish Association's
sites on the internet rejecting the "Armenian Genocide" allegations.

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

- An old man is expelled from the meeting hall in Rize, Erdogan's
hometown, when he shouts that the PM was mismanaging the economy.

- The chief prosecutor denied media reports claiming there was an
investigation into allegations that the CHP accepted funds from the
Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

- Aram Tigran's family will take the remains of the Armenian-Kurdish
singer to Brussels as Turkey denied the family's request for burying
Tigran in Diyarbakir.

- Collective bargaining talks between the government and civil
servants will be kick-started August 15.

- Returning from a visit to Iraq in which he accompanied Foreign
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Industry Minister Zafer Caglayan said Iraq
was going to pay its debts to Turkish companies.

World

- Turkish Red Crescent will reportedly extend food aid to thousands
of needy Syrian families.

- State Minister Zafer Caglayan said on Wednesday that Turkey and
Libya would probably sign a free trade agreement (FTA) in September.


- An attempt to set fire to an apartment used by Turks is reported
in Bremen, Germany.

- Mehdi Kerrubi, a defeated reformist candidate in Iran's disputed
presidential election, has called for an investigation into claims
that anti-government protesters were raped while in custody.

- China will hold the largest-ever tactical exercise involving
50,000 heavily-armored troops moving thousands of miles to test
Chinese military's long distance mobility.

SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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