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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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2009

In Today's Papers

Leave Iran Aside and Look at Israel (Radikal)
Media note that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has publically
extended support to Iran and criticized Israel, despite President
Obama's public announcement in Pittsburg that Iran has kept its Qum
nuclear facility hidden from the international community. Mainstream
Hurriyet notes, "The Prime Minister said in New York, 'There are
countries in the Middle East which have nuclear weapons, for example
Israel. Moreover, phosphorus bombs were used in Gaza. What is this
called? A weapon of mass destruction. Nobody talks about those.
Instead we are talking about Iran over and over again." Mainstream
Milliyet reports in, "Look at Israel First," that Erdogan noted
"Israel possesses nuclear weapons but does not receive the same
reactions as Tehran's nuclear program." Mainstream pro-government
Sabah reports in "We Don't Want Nuclear Weapons," that, "Erdogan
made important statements at his arrival in Istanbul. Replying to a
question, Erdogan said that they did not receive a proposal on
mediation in regard to Iran's nuclear program." However, the paper
notes Erdogan said, "We are against nuclear weapons. But there is a
country in the Middle East which has nuclear weapons as well and it
is Israel. But this issue is not on the table." Mainstream Vatan
headlines, "The Turkish Premier: An Attack on Iran is Insanity," and
the paper notes the PM said, "launching a military attack on Iran
would be a crazy move given the situation in Iraq after the U.S.
invasion," and an attack "would be very very wrong. Iraq should have
taught us a lesson. We need to ask ourselves: 'What did we achieve
in Iraq?' The answer is that a civilization has collapsed and over a
million people have been killed in the country." Conservative
nationalist Turkiye headlines, "Iraq Should Be a Lesson," in
reference to the possibility of military intervention in Iran, which
the paper reports, "Erdogan said attack on Iran's nuclear facilities
would lead to a new nightmare in the world."

Editorial Opinion on Iran and G-20

Mehmet Yilmaz wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "PM Erdogan tried to
clarify rumors regarding Turkey's purchase of missiles. However he
made things even more confusing by noting the short range missile
launchers possessed by Greece. In that case, we should assume that
this missile purchase will be targeting Greece which brings an odd
picture since we are also trying to join the EU club and Athens is
already in it."

Ceyda Karan wrote in liberal Radikal: "As President Obama's UNGA
speech showed, Washington has given up hope on Israeli changing or
softening its position on Palestine. It looks like, Washington once
again will try to convince Arabs and will try to change their
attitude."

Hakan Albayrak wrote in Islamist oriented Yeni Safak: "It was a good
relief that Turkey stood by Iran on the nuclear issue despite all
kinds of international pressure. Prime Minister Erdogan made
wonderfully courageous remarks by highlighting the injustice and
unfairness against Iran. It is very true that entire world is
talking about Iran's nuclear weapons while others, like Israel, are
not even mentioned."

Omer Taspinar wrote in mainstream Sabah: "Given the recent
developments, Iran has to be transparent and be persuasive vis-`-vis
the international community for aiming peaceful means. Otherwise,
within the next three months, the international community i.e. UNSC
is going to discuss serious sanctions against Iran. Unlike previous
times, Russia is closer to the idea of sanctions. In this regard,
Turkey's position will be critically important. Let's hope that
Ankara's strategic stance does not go side by side with China."

Ali Aslan wrote in Islamist oriented Zaman: "Iran's enrichment
program has set the scene in the G-20 and the upcoming 5+1 meeting
is now more critical than ever. Iran's recent effort toward uranium
enrichment diminishes President Obama's hope for more dialogue for

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the nuclear problem. At the same time, Turkey's position on this
issue has become more important because Turkey is playing in the
first league of politics, and is part of the UNSC. Ankara's main
policy line desires integration both to Western system as well as to
Islamic world. When UNSC starts debating sanctions against Iran,
Turkey will have to make a policy choice. That is a natural risk
when a country becomes a player of the first league."

Erdogan-Obama Meet on the Sidelines of G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh
Weekend papers give extensive front-page coverage to a brief meeting
between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Obama at the end of the
G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Sunday's mainstream Hurriyet says that
at the end of the meeting, Obama asked Erdogan to stay, and for 15
minutes, the two discussed "regional issues of importance for
Turkey," including the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Erdogan asked the Minsk Group to take a more active role to
facilitate the process. Obama said he was aware of the importance
of Nagorno Karabakh in solving disagreements between the two
countries. Liberal Radikal says that in a "brief, but substantial"
meeting, the situation between Israel and Palestine as well as
between Syria and Iraq were taken up. Radikal says the meeting took
place on the eve of Erdogan's planned trip to Tehran in October or
early November. Mainstream Aksam claims the discussions focused not
on the problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but on Iran's
nuclear ambitions. Before the meeting with Obama, Erdogan held a
meeting with Russian President Medvedev, notes Aksam.

Talabani: Iraq Won't Open Its Airspace to Attacks on Iran
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports Iraq's President Jalal
Talabani said Iraq would not allow "Israel or another country" to
use the Iraqi airspace or territories in attacks on Iran. Talabani
also defended new sanctions to be imposed by the UN would not change
the attitude of Tehran. Cumhuriyet also reports Secretary Clinton
has welcomed Tehran's decision that a new nuclear site in Iran would
be open to inspection.

Turkey-Armenia Protocols to be Signed October 10 (Sabah)
Mainstream Sabah reported Saturday that the protocols for the
normalization of Turkey-Armenia ties would be signed October 10 in
Zurich or Bern, with the participation of Turkish Foreign Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu, Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and
Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey. The Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) will send the documents to the parliament for
ratification without delay before the Turkish and Armenian soccer
teams meet for a World Cup qualifier in Bursa on October 14. Sabah
expects the ratification of the protocols to be raised in parliament
after the game in Bursa.

Monday's mainstream Aksam carries an Agence France-Presse (AFP)
report in which an unnamed source in Ankara said the "agreement for
normalization" will be signed in Zurich on October 10.

The German Election Results Are Not Good News for Turkey
Media note that the Turkey will continue to face opposition to its
EU bid now that Merkel has been reelected in Germany. Mainstream
Hurriyet writes "Angela Merkel, who is against Turkey's EU bid, was
able to maintain her seat despite the economic crisis."
Islamist-oriented Zaman called the outcome of the German elections,
"Risky for Turkey."

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

Q Prime Minister Erdogan is expected to visit Iraq in October to
join the second meeting of Turkey-Iraq Strategic Cooperation
Council.
Q The Chief of the military General Staff (TGS), General Ilker
Basbug, visits Madrid to meet Spanish counterpart Jose Julio
Rodriguez Fernandez.
Q Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Turkey and Russian natural gas

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company Gazprom were going to cooperate in gas exploration in
northern Iraq.
Q Istanbul's Sisli Mayor Mustafa Sarigul chaired Sunday the first
meeting of his newly founded party, Turkey Change Movement, and
addressed a crowd of supporters.
Q 12 suspects are taken into custody for preparing fake medical
reports for exemption from compulsory military service.

World

Q Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his Russian counterpart
Sergey Lavrov in New York to discuss the normalization process
between Turkey and Armenia. The two foreign ministers will come
together in Moscow on October 8.
Q Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's representative in the IAEA, says
Western reactions to Iran's nuclear facility would adversely affect
their talks with the 5+1, slated for October 1.
Q Iran test-fires three short-range ground-to-ground missiles
shortly after the UN nuclear watchdog disclosed it was building a
second uranium enrichment plant.
Q Libyan leader Gaddafi has canceled a planned visit to Canada this
week.
Q 19,000 people working in the automotive sector in the Czech
Republic lose their jobs over the last one year.

JEFFREY

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