Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2009
In Today's Papers
FM Davutoglu in Tehran: Turkey Is Ready To Do What Is Necessary To
Avoid New Sanctions on Iran
Media report Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu returned to Turkey on
Sunday after an official visit to Tehran, Iran. During the visit,
Davutoglu met Iranian FM Motaki, President Ahmadinejad, Iranian
Parliament Speaker Larijani and Saeed Jalili, the secretary of
Iran's Supreme National Security Council and chief nuclear
negotiator. Iran's official news agency reported Davutoglu told
Jalili during their meetings, "We hope that negotiations between
Iran and the West will begin in the shortest possible time and we
are ready to host those negotiations." Davutoglu also said during a
press conference on Saturday that what Turkey was trying to do was
"to prevent Iran from being kept away from the global and regional
economy." Davutoglu emphasized, "Therefore, Turkey is ready to do
what it has to do to avoid new sanctions on Iran and to lift the
Turkey to Buy Patriot Missiles from the U.S.
Weekend media reported Turkey has decided to purchase 13 Patriot
air-defense systems and 72 missiles from the United States.
Mainstream Vatan quotes "U.S. defense expert" Steven Hildreth as
saying, "the missile system will provide Turkey with the capability
to defend against Iran's short range SCUD missiles." Today in,
"Ankara Has Not Made A Decision On The Patriots," mainstream
Hurriyet reports "Ankara officials were annoyed that the information
was leaked" regarding Turkey's purchase of the system and the paper
says "U.S. officials leaked the information," and the information
indicating Ankara is set to buy the missiles "is not true."
Editorial Commentary on Sale of Patriot Missile Systems to Turkey
Tulin Daloglu wrote in mainstream HaberTurk: "If this sale is
finalized, Turkey will serve as the main country protecting Europe
from Iran. As for Ankara, it requires a major policy adjustment
given its earlier evasive attitudes regarding Iran's nuclear arms
program. FM Davutoglu dreamt of a zero-problem climate with all
Turkey's neighbors. However the reality has brought a full stop to
this romantic rhetoric. After all, when this happens it will be
Turkey's largest military purchase from the U.S. and I guess no one
can claim that these missiles are for Turkey's protection against
Mehmet Yilmaz wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "If this sale is
realized, Turkey will return to its status as one of the biggest
military buyers of U.S. equipment. Since these missiles will be
placed close to the border with Iran, it naturally indicates
security problems with this neighbor. However given this
government's foreign policy towards Iran, one wonders about the main
motive. The very same government sees no harm in Iranian nuclear
tests. At the same time, they are about to spend billions for
missile defense. Something is wrong with this picture."
Semih Idiz wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "Turkey keeps denying this
fact, but everybody knows that Iran's nuclear program is the main
reason for purchasing the defense system. On the other hand Syria is
planning to modernize its missile inventory. Therefore, it's
natural for the Turkish Military to seek an upgrade in air defense
systems. In other words, this purchase is not imposed by the U.S.;
it is based on Turkey's demand. The procurement of those missiles
will bring various advantages to Turkey, one is the increase of
Turkey's importance within NATO."
Erdogan: Anti-PKK Operations Will Continue As Long As Terror
Prime Minister Erdogan, during a Sunday visit to Polatli near
Ankara, criticized "some circles" which he said were "disturbed" by
the ruling AK Party government's move to widen democratic rights and
freedoms. "Some seek political gain over the blood of our martyrs.
They panic when we talk about national unity, because it will make
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them lose their grounds of exploitation," Erdogan said at a ceremony
held to mark the 88th anniversary of the Sakarya Battle. Erdogan
also reacted to a call by the pro-Kurdish DTP to stop military
operations against the PKK. "Operations will continue as long as
terror remains a threat for Turkey," said Erdogan.
Kilic: Lack of Political Dialogue Worse Than Terrorism
Sunday papers report Constitutional Court Chairman Hasim Kilic
voiced concerns regarding the political situation in Turkey.
"Turkey has a problem worse than terrorism, which is lack of
dialogue. Political parties, leaders and people, have closed
themselves against each other -- they cannot make any move. It is
worse than terrorism if political actors do not communicate face to
face," said Kilic.
Education Ministry Issues Circular Against Discrimination
Mainstream Haberturk reports on its front page today that Education
Minister Nimet Cubukcu has issued a circular before the start of the
new education year, which instructs the teachers in elementary and
high schools to lecture on tolerance and against religious, racial
and language discrimination. "Discrimination, due to social,
cultural and economic reasons, is applied against men, women and the
handicapped, and can be seen as racism and intolerance. The Turkish
society has always given good examples of peace, tolerance, justice,
and respect for humankind and coexistence," said the circular.
Haberturk comments the circular was actually asking for support for
the ruling AK Party government's Kurdish democratic initiative.
Milliyet: The Armenian People Are Ready for Peace With Turkey
Just one month before the protocols on opening the border crossing
between Turkey and Armenia were signed, mainstream Milliyet "took
the pulse" of Armenians on the streets of Yerevan. According to
Milliyet, the "majority" of Armenians give "full support" to their
government to establish ties with Turkey and open the borders.
They, however, have a "red line" which is the recognition that a
genocide occurred when Ottoman Turks massacred and expelled
Armenians during World War I. "Their biggest dream is, one day, to
be allowed to live in the lands their grandfathers lived,"
Government Spokesman Sharmazanov said, "No one can question the
Armenian genocide. For Armenians, Eastern Anatolia will always be
West Armenia." Anahit, one Armenian Milliyet spoke to, said, "We
want Diyarbakir to be ours again. Both Turks, Armenians and Kurds
know that Diyarbakir is our hometown."
Obama Vilified By Two Million in DC
Media closely follow the weekend's protests against U.S. President
Barack Obama's plan to reform healthcare in the U.S. Mainstream
Haberturk headlines, "The U.S. Wasn't Angry at Bush, But They Are
Tearing Obama to Pieces." Liberal Radikal headlines, "Hitler,
Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Obama!" Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
reports, "They Called Obama a 'Communist.'" Islamist-oriented Zaman
reports, "President Obama's policies are being protested," as "some
are accusing him of socializing the country because of his health
reform plan." Mainstream Sabah headlines, "Socialist Obama."
Editorial Commentary on Obama's Health Reform
Ali Aslan wrote in Islamist oriented Zaman: "Tens of thousands are
pouring in the nation's capital in order to protest Obama
administration's policies, especially regarding the health reform
plan. Demonstrators are accusing President Obama of turning the
U.S. into a socialist country. There is a more serious backdrop at
these demonstrations, which is about the south spirit and the north
spirit. The 9/11 attacks encouraged a resurrection of the 'southern
spirit,' which despises others. But President Obama is trying to
encourage the 'northern spirit' which seeks better terms with
others. Given the recent demonstrations on health reform, the
southern spirit has no intention to change."
TV News (CNN Turk)
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- Prime Minister Erdogan will visit the U.S. from September 21-26 to
join UN General Assembly meetings in New York and the G-20 summit in
- On Tuesday, DTP leader Ahmet Turk and deputy chairperson Emine
Ayna will visit northern Iraq to discuss the Turkish government's
Kurdish initiative with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi KRG
President Massoud Barzani.
- On September 17, Prime Minister Erdogan will host an Iftar
fast-breaking dinner for chief editors of newspapers and TV
- More than 100 people were arrested for looting goods from
factories and shops following flash floods in Istanbul.
- Alevi organizations have staged protests against compulsory
religious instruction in Istanbul.
- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
said Turkey's economic importance had grown, adding Turkey could
resume a fast track of economic growth as of 2010. Turkey is the
16th largest economy of the 30-member OECD, but currently ranks at
the bottom of all 30 in terms of education.
- Greek Cypriot leader Christofias says the Turkish Cypriots should
hand over the control of Karpaz to Southern Cyprus and allow the
settlement of 20,000 Greek Cypriot migrants in the area.
- - Israeli President Shimon Peres is discharged from a Tel Aviv
hospital a day after fainting on stage during a talk.
- IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn says "the global
economic crisis will continue, even if Germany and France had some
good figures in the second quarter."
- A Catalonian village of 8,000 people in the Spanish region of
Barcelona, holds a referendum on the independence of Catalonia.