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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
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

In Today's Papers

Gordon: Sargsyan Should Go to the Turkey-Armenia Soccer Game
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Europe and Eurasia, Phillip Gordon, stated after Monday's meeting
between Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that
Turkey and Armenia should be lauded over their efforts regarding the
normalization process despite all the opposition at home. Gordon
also said Armenian President Sargsyan should go to the soccer game
between the Turkish and Armenian teams in Turkey, which would be a
"good sign."

Papers report Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Monday with
Secretary Clinton in New York. Prior to their meeting, Clinton
said, "The foreign minister and I spoke on a range of issues that
are important, including energy and Turkey's EU accession process
and the normalization efforts with Armenia and the situation in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East." Clinton added, "And
I very much appreciate the strong commitment that the Turkish
government has made to the Armenia normalization process, and I also
am very grateful for the strong relationship that the US and Turkey
have had, which continues today." Davutoglu said that relations
between the two countries have set a model, as President Obama
described earlier, and stressed that Turkey would continue to
improve its ties with the US.

'Ethnic Conflict' Breaks Out in Soccer on Eve of Turkey-Armenia Game

Cumhuriyet, Radikal, Milliyet, Haberturk and Aksam report during a
weekend soccer game between the clubs of Bursa and the mainly
Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, Bursa fans mounted tensions by chanting
slogans against Diyarbakir fans, calling them "PKK supporters" and
"Ocalan's team." The police had to intervene to protect Diyarbakir
fans from the mounting tensions. The head of Diyarbakir Sports
Club, Cetin Sumer, said they will withdraw from Turkey's Soccer
League in reaction to the racist slogans chanted, and asked that the
Bursa team will be penalized. He added that after the game,
Bursaspor supporters attacked Diyarbakirspor fans. Mainstream
Aksam says officials were concerned that the same thing might be
repeated during the upcoming October 14 soccer game between Turkey
and Armenia, which will also take place in Bursa. President
Sargsyan is expected to travel to Turkey to watch the game.

ECHR Rules Turkey to Pay Compensation to Iranian Refugees
Mainstream Sabah reports on its front page the European Court of
Human Rights (ECHR) fined Turkey to pay Euro 20,000 each to two
Iranians, members of the opposition group People's Mujahedeen, for
forcing them to return to Iran after they applied for asylum after
they fled and entered Turkey illegally in 2008. The Iranians, Hamit
Karimniya and Muhsin Abdulhani, said Turkish authorities forced them
to go back despite the fact that they would be given capital
punishment at home. The ECHR also ruled that the two will not be
sent back. The ruling is important in the sense that it will set a
precedent for other cases in Turkey, says Sabah.

Turkey to Invest USD 350 Billion in Transportation, Communications
Papers report Prime Minister Erdogan told the third "Transportation
Council" held in Istanbul that Turkey will make USD 350 billion of
transport and communications infrastructure investments over the
next 25 years. Erdogan also said a couple more airports and a third
bridge over the Bosphorus would be built in Istanbul.

Al-Qaeda Threatens Turkey (Hurriyet)
Media outlets report that in a new voice recording released Monday,
al-Qaeda's number two in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, "warned" Turkey
over taking over the ISAF command in Afghanistan. "By doing so,
Turkey will partner with the others in shedding Muslims' blood in
Afghanistan," said Zawahiri. He also called on Turkish people to
"oppose" their government's troop dispatch policy, report papers.

US Report: Child Labor Used in Productions in Turkey

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Mainstream Hurriyet and leftist Taraf report the Trafficking Victims
Protection and Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) report claimed that in
Turkey, child labor was used in the production of eight commodities
in Turkey. Turkey's Labor Ministry reacted to the report, saying
the claim was "not true." A statement by the Labor Ministry said,
"We are doubtful about the motives of the report. Our government,
however, is ready for all cooperation with the US on the matter."

Turkey's EU Path Ambiguous Under New German Coalition
Media speculate on the impact of the German elections which have
brought more ambiguity to Turkey's EU membership process, as the
Social Democrats, who were supportive of Turkey's European bid, will
likely be replaced by the less enthusiastic Free Democrats, FDP.
Mainstream Sabah headlines, "Merkel To Turn Into Iron Lady," and
reports, "Germany will follow a tougher policy on refugees and on
Turkey." Mainstream Milliyet and leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
carry the same headline, "Turkey is The Loser in German Elections,"
and report, "following the elections landing Angela Merkel and her
party back to the power, Berlin's policy on Turkey's EU bid is
expected to be 'privileged partnership' instead of full membership."
Islamist-oriented Zaman writes in "She Will Get Closer to Sarkozy,"
that "Social Democrats who were to prevent German Chancellor Merkel
from becoming "Sarkozy" on Turkey's EU membership, will not be in
the new government. Meanwhile, liberal Radikal is more optimistic
about the outcome of the German elections. The paper reports, "FDP,
the party expected to form a coalition government with Christian
Democrat leader Merkel, said that the term of 'privileged
partnership' was outdated."

In a related story, mainstream Milliyet, liberal Radikal,
Islamist-oriented Zaman and others report "three Turkish
parliamentarians won seats in the German parliament for the first
time."

Editorial Commentary on German Elections

Sami Kohen wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "The composition of new
German cabinet will not bring any good news for Ankara. Given FDP's
participation in the coalition, along with Angela Merkel's position
vis-`-vis Turkey's EU membership process, Ankara's relationship with
Germany will be more difficult than Merkel's first term."

Yavuz Donat wrote in mainstream Sabah: "There is not an entire
negative picture after German elections. The coalition partner FDP
has been labeled as a reason for worry for Turkey, however it was
FDP who was fighting for the implementation of European Court of
Human Rights decisions in favor of Turkish citizens. More
importantly, this time anti-Turkish rhetoric has never been used
during the election campaign. None of the German parties tried to
defame Turks in order to garner votes which comes as the most
valuable gain for Ankara."

Iran Tests Longest-Range Missiles
Media focus on the danger of the range of Iran's missile program,
which is controlled by Iran Revolutionary Guard, and Monday's tests
of upgraded versions of the medium-range Shahab-3 and Sajjil
missiles. Most media reprinted graphic showing the range of
missiles, noting that the warheads are able to reach up to 2,000
kilometers and puts Israel, U.S. military bases in the Middle East,
and parts of Europe within striking distance. They also note that
the missiles threaten Turkey. Islamist oriented Zaman headlines
"Iran's Defiance to the Western world." Leftist Taraf writes, "Iran
missile range is capable of hitting Ankara." A visual demonstration
gave an alarming tone to the readers of Hurriyet, mainstream as well
as Taraf, leftist that current Iranian missiles and the developing
ones can go up to Russia and most of Europe, including entire
Turkey. Meanwhile, Islamist oriented Yeni Safak highlighted Iranian
Atomic Agency Chief's remarks to state television as he expressed
Iran's readiness to open nuclear facilities for IAEA inspection.

Opinion makers mostly dealt with Prime Minister Erdogan's analogy

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between Iran nuclear and Israel nuclear programs. In liberal
Radikal, Cengiz Candar supports "PM Erdogan did the right thing by
emphasizing Israel's nuclear capacity and called for a debate in a
comprehensive manner instead of obsessively focusing on Iran only."
Sahin Alpay calls for further action about Gaza in Islamist oriented
Zaman: "PM Erdogan emphasized the human drama in Gaza and mentioned
the use of phosphorus bombs. That is very right but he should not
stop there. The Golstone Report must be brought into the
international spotlight for action." In English language daily
Today's Zaman, Kerim Balci noted a double standard by making a
reference to PM's approach: "Thinking that Iran cannot shoulder the
responsibility of having nuclear weapons is prejudice whereas
thinking that the keys of the Israeli nuclear missiles will never
pass into the hands of irresponsible rulers is naivet." He
concludes: "However the double standard on the issue does not give
Iran, or any other regional power, the legitimate right to produce
nuclear missiles."


TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

Q The trial of DTP leader Ahmet Turk, deputy chairperson Emine Ayna
and MP Selahattin Demirtas over making PKK propaganda will continue
Tuesday in Ankara. The deputies, covered by parliamentary immunity,
refuse to show up in the court.
Q Turkey's main Kurdish party DTP will hold its convention in Ankara
on October 4.
Q Independent Istanbul MP Ufuk Uras and eight noted intellectuals
filed a complaint against army chief General Ilker Basbug on Monday,
arguing that the officer has exceeded his authority and delivered
political speeches during a recent visit to southeast Turkey.
Q At the opening of the new education year ceremony in Istanbul
University, President Yunus Soylet announced they were making
preparations for the opening of a "Kurdology Institute" within the
university.
Q Opposition CHP deputy group leader Hakki Suha Okay's brother,
Mustafa Fehmi Okay, who was implicated in the production of drugs
earlier this month in Istanbul, was detained by police Monday.
Q Turkey's first attack helicopter co-produced by the Italian
Agusta-Westland, T129 ATAK, has successfully completed its first
test flight, at Augusta Westland's facilities near Milan.

World

Q World Bank-IMF annual meetings will be held in Istanbul on October
6-7.
Q The Green Party in Germany has gained more than 10 percent in
Sunday's general election, but its co-leader Cem Ozdemir, whose is
of Turkish origin, was not elected to the parliament.
Q China prepares to mark the 60th anniversary of the communist state
on October 1.
Q US Marines and Afghan soldiers kill 40 Taliban fighters in a joint
operation in Afghanistan's west.
Q Syria hosts a meeting of 50 Labor and Communist parties from 43
countries.
Q At least 13 civilians are killed in separate battles between
Islamic militiamen and the African Union peacekeeping force in
Somalia.

JEFFREY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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