Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
In Today's Papers
US Active Diplomacy on Armenia-Turkey Normalization (Vatan)
Media continue to emphasize Secretary Clinton's direct engagement on
Armenia-Turkey normalization and highlight that she urged both
countries to follow through on their commitment to the process.
Mainstream Vatan headlines, "Don't Bother the Opposition, Just Do
It," and reports, "Secretary Clinton, in her meetings on the
sidelines of the UNGA, told the foreign ministers of the two
countries that they should proceed rapidly to a deal, without a slow
down due to the political opposition." Mainstream Haberturk writes,
"Go to The National Game, Says US to Sarkisian," as "Secretary
Clinton called on Armenian President Sarkisian to accept the Turkish
invitation for watching the game between the football teams of
Turkey and Armenia." Mainstream Milliyet headlines, "US Tells
Sarkisian to Go to Turkey," and reports "Secretary Clinton said to
the two foreign ministers that normalization "should take place
without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet writes in "US Suggests Sarkisian Go
to the Game."
Media continue to give prominent coverage to the remarks from USG
officials and Congressmen. Cumhuriyet notes, "US Special Envoy for
European Affairs Philip Gordon said the normalization process should
continue and the US was eager for the deal. Gordon also said the US
supported what has become known as "football diplomacy" between the
two countries and would like to see Armenian President Sarkisian
visit Turkey for the game between Turkey and Armenia." Meanwhile,
liberal Radikal reports, "Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the US
Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, said the protocols to be
signed by Turkey and Armenia were 'historical agreements' for both
countries as well as the world."
Iran Supports its Nuclear Program
"Iran Makes a Surprise Invitation" says a front page headline story
in nationalist Tercuman, highlighting remarks from Iranian Atomic
Energy Institution Chairman Salihli. Similarly, Islamist oriented
Zaman says "Iran is working on a calendar to allow IAEA inspectors
visiting the second nuclear facility which was recently announced."
In "Iran Threatens to Withdraw" liberal Radikal highlights the
Iranian parliament's call to the P5+1 "to use this historic
opportunity for lowering tension, otherwise Iran will have to limit
cooperation with IAEA and will continue with its uranium enrichment
Columnists continue comment on a perceived international double
standard regarding Iran's nuclear capacity. In Islamist oriented
Yeni Safak, Abdullah Muratoglu complains: "The U.S. is very biased
and insincere about nuclear states. Iran cannot be the only focus
while the world is silent about Israel's nuclear." Cengiz Candar
writes in liberal Radikal: "Iran and Turkey are the two seriously
important states in the region. Turkey should do everything
possible to integrate Iran into the global system and work through
all peaceful methods to achieve this goal." In mainstream Milliyet,
however, Sami Kohen is skeptical. "A complete nuclear-free world is
a wonderful goal," he writes, "but the entire world is very far from
President Gul in Office Until 2012
Following Tuesday's Council of Ministers meeting, Government
Spokesman Cemil Cicek told the press about a bill drafted by the
Justice Ministry regarding presidential elections. President Gul
will stay in office for five years until 2012, and may run for
office again for a second term. The draft will be submitted to the
parliament for approval.
Court Rules Kurdish MPs Brought by Force for Deposition
A court in Ankara ruled that the Kurdish DTP vice-president Emine
Ayna and the acting head of the party group in parliament Selahattin
Demirtas must be brought to court by force to testify in a lawsuit
for making PKK propaganda. Mainstream Milliyet and
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Islamist-oriented Zaman say the controversial decision was likely to
harm the government's democratic initiative while it was striving to
end terror and expand freedoms. DTP officials have earlier said the
decision was illegal since they have parliamentary immunity, and
refuse to go to the court to make deposition. DTP officials had
added they will not show up in the court unless they are stripped of
their parliamentary immunities. The next court hearing is scheduled
for December 29. DTP leader Ahmet Turk denounced the court ruling
as "illegal," and said Turkey would lose if the lawmakers are taken
to court by police force. Turk also criticized the parliament for
giving no support to its members expressing freely their views.
Poll Shows the 'Racism within Us' (Radikal)
Several papers give extensive front-page coverage to a survey on
religious and ethnic discrimination, which reveals the lack of
tolerance for different identities in Turkey. The survey with 1108
respondents was conducted from May 18-June 18 by Frekans polling
company to measure the prevailing attitudes towards different
identities, and especially toward the Jews. Mainstream Milliyet
says the survey was conducted on the request of the Turkish-Jewish
congregation with the financial support of the EU. The paper notes
Israel's operations in Gaza had a negative impact regarding the
attitudes toward Turkish Jews. According to the survey, 57 percent
of the interviewed say they don't want to have "atheist neighbors."
The Jews are the second "unwanted" group -- 42 percent of the
interviewed say they don't want Jewish neighbors, and 35 percent
prefer to live without Christian neighbors. Kurds and Alevis, two
other communities that had been the victims of intolerance, also
fall under the "unwanted" group. The respondents object to
proposals for giving to non-Muslims posts in state offices. 57
percent say non-Muslims should not be given positions in the
intelligence service MIT, and 55 percent oppose the appointment of
non-Muslims in judicial institutions. Liberal Radikal says the
dimensions of religious and ethnic discrimination in Turkey were
Editorial Commentary on Hatred and Intolerance in Turkey
Ismet Berkan wrote in liberal Radikal: "The results of this survey
clearly demonstrate how Turkish nation is turning into a hate
society and driven by intolerance. There has to be a public
awareness campaign to fight against such an alarming tendency which
leads to discrimination and anti-Semitism."
Hasan Bulent Kahraman wrote in mainstream Sabah: "We have to think
very carefully about those results which indicate a clear
intolerance and dehumanization when it comes to think about others
with different ethnic and/or religious identity. Otherwise, the
roots of such tendency will take us to racism."
Children Under 18 Will be Tried in Juvenile Courts; 645 Missing
Children in Turkey
Government spokesman Cemil Cicek said Tuesday the government was
making arrangements regarding children charged with throwing stones
at the security forces. Papers report the Justice Ministry has
taken an important step to help children arrested for throwing
stones at the police and given heavier penalties than the members of
terror organizations. A draft prepared by the Justice Ministry has
cleared the way for the trial of children under the age of 18 by
juvenile courts. The heavy penalties given so far to children
throwing stones at the police have sparked heated controversies.
Liberal Radikal reminds that Adana prosecutor has demanded 533-year
prison sentence for 11 children who joined illegal demonstrations to
protest the alleged mistreatment of the PKK's imprisoned leader
Abdullah Ocalan. Experts told the court the children have acted
under the influence of others, and criticized the fact that the case
was taken up by heavy penal courts.
Under the headline, "Black Picture for Turkey," leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet reports police records show that over the first five
months of 2009, 645 children went missing in 43 provinces.
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Poll: CHP, MHP Increase Votes, AKP Declines Slightly
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet carries a survey conducted by Sonar
polling company from September 1-20 days to measure "political
trends and expectations in Turkey." The survey was conducted in 20
cities and 20 villages with the participation of 3,000 respondents.
Voters' preference of the political parties in Turkey is as follows:
AKP 34.44 percent, CHP 27.21, MHP 19.03, DTP 6.08, and SP 5.72. The
survey shows that voters have begun favoring more opposition parties
CHP and MHP in reaction to the ruling AKP government's Kurdish
democratic initiative, comments Cumhuriyet.
Blackberry Inventor Lazaridis to be Given Turkish Citizenship
Mainstream Aksam reports on its front page Mike Lazaridis, the
inventor of Blackberry, would be given Turkish citizenship.
Lazaridis, a Greek origin Turk, was born in Istanbul and moved to
Canada when he was five years old. Aksam says Turkish authorities
want Lazaridis to build a large Blackberry "research and
development" unit in Turkey.
TV News (NTV)
Q The Council of Ministers has decided to ask the parliament to
extend by another year the authorization given to the military for
cross-border operations into northern Iraq.
Q In a press conference on September 30, FM Davutoglu said Turkey is
in favor of only diplomatic ways regarding the Iran nuclear crisis,
and that there is no need for sanctions. FM Davutoglu expressed
hope and progress on both Turkey-Armenia normalization as well as
the Minsk Group efforts.
Q In an interview with NTV on September 30, Deputy PM Bulent Arinc
said he expects the normalization protocol with Armenia will not
approved by the parliament until a solution is achieved on
Q Talking to NTV, veteran journalist Mehmet Ali Birand said he
anticipated a mid-way formula when the protocol comes to parliament
for approval. The parliament will hold it for final ratification
until a solution on Karabakh is done, but he added that "effort for
solving the Karabakh issue in very near future is just about
achieving the goal."
Q Veteran Kurdish politician Abdulmelik Firat died Tuesday in a
hospital in Ankara, where he had been receiving treatment for
Q The fourth Alevi Workshop will be held with the participation of
government representatives and various civic organizations.
Q The new legislative year starts Thursday with an official ceremony
in the Parliament.
Q World Bank-IMF annual meetings will be held in Istanbul on October
Q Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay said State Theaters will be
allowed to stage Kurdish-language plays.
Q Foreign investments made in Turkey over the first seven months of
the year totaled USD 4.9 billion.
Q The military General Staff (TGS) website reports Greek F-16s and
M-2000s taking off from Ankhialos and Skiros air fields interfered
three times Turkish Air Force F-16s conducting training flights in
the international air space over the Aegean.
Q Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a meeting of the UN Security
Council that next year Turkey will assume a leading role regarding
Q The lawyer of Turkish company Horizon says they were close to
compromise with Somali pirates holding their bulk carrier for more
than two months.
Q Turkey is convicted by the European Court of Human Rights for
violation of human rights in connection with the complaints of 21
people dismissed from the army or from military schools.
Q Thorbjorn Jagland, a former prime minister of Norway, is elected
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secretary-general of the Council of Europe (CoE).