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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2009

In Today's Papers

P5+1 Talks with Iran in Geneva
Media today carry straightforward coverage but focus on the
symbolism of the P5+1/Iran talks. Islamist oriented Zaman headlines
that the high level meeting happened "For the First Time in 30
Years" and notes that Washington and Tehran relations have taken a
historic step. Leftist Taraf, however, takes a more substantive
stance, noting that "the symbolic importance of the P5+1 and Iran
meetings is highlighted more than the content." Mainstream
Haberturk writes "Iran Opens Its Nuclear Plant to Inspection," and
highlights President Obama comments as "It's a productive start.
Iran has to take concrete steps to show its nuclear program is for
peaceful purposes." Columnists on Geneva Talks: In mainstream
Milliyet, Sami Kohen notes "As a last minute diplomacy attack, Iran
offered to open its second nuclear facility for inspection and the
P5+1 group could not possibly ignore this move. Iran is sitting at
the table with another strong helping hand from Turkey because
Turkey's Prime Minister clearly stood by Tehran." In mainstream
HaberTurk, columnist Soli Ozel notes the long and serious history of
Iran and argues that "Iran should not be treated as a country with
a bunch of fanatics who are capable of doing everything to harm
international peace, even though American neo-cons suggest the
opposite." For that reason, Ozel concludes "every means of
diplomacy must be tried and used in this process."

Gul: "If we can't solve our problems, someone else will"
Papers reported extensively on the opening of Parliament, most
noting that chief of the military General Staff (TGS) General Ilker
Basbug and force commanders fully attending. Mainstream Vatan finds
the attendance "surprising" because five months ago Basbug said he
cannot stay under the same roof with the DTP officials before they
end the controversy regarding their links with terror. In "If We
Cannot Solve Our Problems, Someone Else Will," mainstream Hurriyet
says President Gul stressed that internal problems should be
resolved through democratic means. Under the headline "We must
speed up the democratic move," mainstream Vatan says Gul called for
"resolute action" regarding the "democratic move," stressing the
ongoing positive conditions would not last forever. Headlined
"Turkish nation demands democratic move," nationalist-conservative
Turkiye reports Gul said a democratic state should see the social
and cultural differences as its "richness," and accept such
differences instead of trying to eliminate them. In "Parliament
opens with democratic move," Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak says Gul
expressed the importance of "keeping social and political
differences alive together." Mainstream Sabah says Gul gave a
"magic formula" of "unity in diversity," saying "Diversity is the
backbone of democracy." Leftist Taraf comments Gul referred to the
controversial 'Ergenekon' investigation when he said "Henceforth,
wandering out of the boundaries of law is prohibited."

Editorials on Gul Remarks at Parliament Opening: Editorials mostly
commend President Gul's emphasis on democracy as well as reform.
Typical is Fehmi Koru's summation in Islamist oriented Yeni Safak
that Gul's speech laid down "a roadmap for Turkey's future in strong
democracy and rule of law." Gungor Mengi in mainstream Vatan,
however, is skeptical about real implementation, noting that
Turkey's "top levels have completely lost their neutrality and act
by partisan considerations . . . they cannot fulfill their
responsibilities properly even if they defend the right methods."
In liberal Radikal, Murat Yetkin thinks the president clearly spoke
for the democratic initiative on Kurds and for reforms, and he
comments "President Gul has made very clear why we need the
initiatives . . . the time has come for Prime Minister Erdogan to
tell the public what these initiatives actually are." In leftist
Taraf, Yasemin Congar describes Gul's message as "equality and
respect for each and every ethnic group under a constitutional
citizenship spirit" and criticizes the opposition parties for being
aloof to the reality for change.

Erdogan open to constitutional changes to save DTP MPs

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Media outlets report that at a reception held Thursday night in
honor of the opening of the new legislative year, Prime Minister
Erdogan called on the opposition parties to support a legal
amendment to prevent Kurdish DTP lawmakers from being forcibly
brought for deposition to the prosecutor. Erdogan told reporters,
"No one, including parliamentarians, should be prosecuted because of
their thoughts. We are ready for a constitutional amendment on
this." Opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal had earlier said the only
way to end the crisis was to "amend the constitution" and "narrow
the scope of the parliamentary immunities."

Armenian lobby urges Clinton to stop pressing Yerevan
Papers report the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) sent
a letter to Secretary Clinton, asking her to stop putting "unfair
and heavy pressure" on Yerevan to sign the protocols for
normalization with Turkey. ANCA said the signing of the protocols
would weaken Armenian claims. Islamist-oriented Zaman reports the
ambassadors of the Minsk Group co-chairs the US, France and Russia
have issued a joint statement which said the normalization process
between Turkey and Armenia and the issue of Nagorno Karabakh were
"separate from each other."

A Shoe To IMF (Cumhuriyet)
Media outlets give extensive coverage with flashy headlines to the
shoe throwing protest which happened during the IMF President
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's speech to the students at Istanbul's Bilgi
University. In "He Throws A Shoe to IMF," liberal Radikal reports,
"A protestor threw his shoe after shouting "Go Away, IMF."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet says, "IMF Chief gets Bush
treatment," adding, "The protestor who is working at the socialist
Birg|n newspaper, was detained for a couple of hours and then
released. " In "Nikesist-Leninist protest," mainstream Haberturk
reports the irony that "the socialist protestor threw a fake Nike
sneaker to IMF's socialist chief." Mainstream Sabah carries the
headline, "The Difference In A New Turkey," and notes, "while Bush's
shoe-thrower stayed nine months in prison, the protestor throwing a
shoe to the IMF Chief is free." Islamist oriented Zaman says,
"Capitalism Protest With A Nike Sneaker."

Upcoming Events:

Q President Gul today travels to Azerbaijan's Nakhcivan region to
join the summit of Turkish-speaking countries.
Q Foreign Minister Davutoglu today is meeting European Commission
President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli
Rehn in Brussels.
Q The ruling AKP holds its party convention on October 3 in Ankara.
The party plans to make public its deliberation on the Kurdish
democratic initiative.

SILLIMAN

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