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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, OCTOBER 5, 2009

In Today's Papers

Armenia- Azerbaijan: "The Ice is Melting"
Taha Akyol writes in mainstream Milliyet: "President Gul and FM
Davutoglu met with Azeri leader Aliyev and FM Mehmetyarov for one
and half hour in Nahcivan the other day. Both, Gul and Davutoglu
came out of the meeting looking very pleased. We asked President
Gul whether Azerbaijan was convinced and whether the protocol with
Armenia would progress? Here is President Gul's answer "Azerbaijan
trusts Turkey and Turkey's efforts. In Kishnev Aliyev and Sargsian
will meet as well. We advanced so much in resolving this issue in
the Caucasus. We are advancing in our meetings and in the Upper
Karabakh issue gradually, by deleting the problems one by one. We
are melting an iceberg with our warm breath. We believe that the
water should start running soon." At the end of his remarks,
President Gul highlighted the fact that, in order to resolve issues,
the public should not be provoked during the process."

Turning Point Over Iran. Media continue to digest the outcome of
the talks between P5+1 officials and Iran on its nuclear program.
In "Cooperation and Transparency Period with Iran," liberal Radikal
says, "After talks in Tehran, UN nuclear agency head Mohamed El
Baradei announced that IAEA will inspect Iran's new uranium
enrichment plant on October 25." The paper quotes Baradei as saying
"there is a 'shifting of gears' in Iran's confrontation with the
West to more cooperation and transparency." Islamist oriented Yeni
Safak writes, "Baradei said there is no concrete proof of an ongoing
weapons program in Iran." Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah pays
attention to New York Times report indicating IAEA's report that
says Iran "has sufficient information to be able to design and
produce an atom bomb." Ali Aslan in Islamist-oriented Zaman, says
America is crafting a containment policy for Iran as a back-up plan
and that Turkey's role in it - as well as the development of
Turkey's nuclear program, will zoom. Aslan predicts that PM Erdogan
will go to Washington during the upcoming months to meet President
Obama and that the main agenda will be the Iran issue. In fact,
because of regional developments, the development of Turkey's own
nuclear program is more often on the agenda. It is to Turkey's
advantage, Aslan notes, that the new administration in the US
doesn't carry out the previous administration's "you are either with
us or against us" policies and that "Turkey should be able to
explain to Washington and to Western capitals that some of our
policies, including the Iran issue, don't form up due to strategic
reasons but for tactical reasons. This is a must, because, when the
issue is Turkey, even the most informed Americans still need further
education."

Iraq-PKK: "Critical Summit in Erbil"
Fatih Cekirge predicts an acceleration in the PKK arms issue
following next week's "critical" three country summit meeting in
Erbil and that four countries will benefit when the PKK lays down
its arms. Writing in mainstream Hurriyet: "Turkey, the US and Iraq
will hold a three-party security summit. Turkey, the US, Iraq and
Syria attach importance to the summit. The US wants to leave a
peaceful oil region after its withdrawal from Iraq. The US doesn't
want Turkish interventions in Northern Iraq any longer because it
might interrupt the petroleum production. That is why, the US wants
to disarm the PKK. Iraq doesn't want Turkish military presence in
Northern Iraq any longer and therefore, Iraq also wants to disarm
the PKK. Following improved relations between Turkey and Syria,
Syrian leader Assad recently announced that Syria is ready to accept
PKK militants of Syrian origin, if they lay their arms. On this
issue, Turkish interests are parallel to the US interests. The US
supports Turkey's democratic opening in order to boost
democratization. The aim here is to prevent PKK efforts to recruit
new militants. Turkey pursues the same goal. This is why
Ambassador Jeffrey visited the main opposition party CHP leader
Baykal and indirectly mentioned the US support for the government's
democratic opening. A new process might start after the security
summit in Erbil which will be a process for the PKK to lay down its
arms."

ANKARA 00001437 002 OF 003

DOMESTIC NEWS: AKP and DTP Hold Annual Congresses

Erdogan: "We will not sacrifice democracy, secularism and the rule
of law"
Media outlets report that at the ruling AK Party's congress held
Saturday, Prime Minister Erdogan said the government intended to
serve the country without sacrificing democracy, secularism and the
rule of law. In his speech to the congress, Erdogan said the
opposition MHP had already rejected the Kurdish initiative, and that
there was no need to talk to the party. Erdogan said the main
opposition CHP had yet to officially make its stance clear. "I will
send to Deniz Baykal a written request for a meeting," said Erdogan.
A statement released during the convention said, "Our main aim is
for all citizens, no matter where they live or to which ethnicity
they belong, to feel free and equal members of this country."
Erdogan said the government would continue to work to guarantee that
Turkey becomes a member of the EU. He complained the EU was trying
to change the rules of the game despite the fact that the game had
already been started. Mainstream Milliyet says that after the AK
Party congress, Erdogan is expected to give top posts to Kurds in
line with his government's democratic initiative. There are
speculations that following the general elections in 2011, Erdogan
will run for presidency in 2012, says Milliyet.

Kurdish DTP Holds Party Congress
Papers report Turkey's main Kurdish party DTP has held on Sunday its
third extraordinary congress with the participation of foreign
observers and thousands of members. Tensions rose when a group
holding posters of the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan and
the PKK flags stormed into the hall. "The state has finally seen
that pressure policies cannot solve the Kurdish problem," said
chairman Ahmet Turk, claiming "20 million of the Kurdish population
is deprived of equal rights and freedoms." "In order to cease armed
conflicts, the PKK should not be excluded from the solution
process." Turk said the government's Kurdish move would not be
successful unless the Constitution was amended. "We expect Mr.
Prime Minister to be bold and decisive; this process should not turn
into a process of delay. The PKK should not be excluded from the
solution process," said Turk. Turk said the ongoing military
operations should be ceased, and criticized a possible extension of
the parliamentary permit for cross-border military operations into
northern Iraq. Turk referred to the examples of Ireland, Spain,
Belgium and South Africa: "They succeeded in getting rid of their
authoritarian past and raised their welfare remarkably. None of
them were divided."

Liberal Radikal says some PKK supporters were blocked from taking
the podium during the gathering. Mainstream Vatan highlights Turk's
speech, the part where he said, "No one has a magic wand to solve
the problem, but the key to open the lock is in the hands of
Ocalan." In "We won't be the side which blocks a solution,"
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak says some party supporters in the
congress hall protested some masked pro-PKK members who tried to
take the podium. Mainstream Hurriyet says the DTP congress called
on Erdogan to be "courageous" regarding the Kurdish initiative.
Nationalistic-conservative Tercuman comments that at the convention
while Turk was talking about living together like brothers, the
separatist showed their real intentions of dividing Turkey.

Celik: Halki Seminary can be reopened
The ruling AK Party's newly elected board member, former education
minister Huseyin Celik told mainstream Aksam the Halki Seminary
could be "easily reopened" without making legal changes. "The
Seminary can be affiliated to the Education Ministry, or it can be
tied to a foundation as a two-year college," said Celik.

Towards A New EU. (Milliyet) Media note the importance of Ireland's
approval for the EU's Lisbon Treaty with 67.1 percent 'Yes.'
Mainstream Milliyet notes, "The Irish were the only member
subjecting the EU plans for reshaping its institutions and

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decision-making to a nationwide referendum." Mainstream Vatan
writes in, "EU Reaches its Desired Constitution," that, "the
approved Lisbon Treaty foresees a presidency representing the EU and
UK's former Prime Minister Tony Blair is the strongest candidate."
In "The EU will Awaken," Cengiz Aktar of mainstream Vatan is
optimistic that because the need for consensus is over -- the votes
of 15 of 27 EU states will be enough."

Attack in Afghan Village Kills 8 US Troops. Media outlets carry
straightforward coverage on the attack on remote Afghan outposts
killing eight US soldiers. Mainstream Milliyet says, "the deadliest
attack for coalition forces since a similar raid in July 2008 which
killed nine American soldiers in the same mountainous region." In
"Shock to the US Forces in Afghanistan," Islamist oriented Yeni
Safak writes, "Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in
Nuristan province which is known as an al-Qaeda base."

Upcoming Events:

Q On Tuesday, the Turkish Parliament will discuss a motion
authorizing cross-border military operations into northern Iraq.
Q On October 13, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Syrian
counterpart Walid al-Mouallem will sign an agreement on visa
exemption.
Q On Monday, Turkey-Iran joint business council will hold a meeting
in Istanbul.
Q On October 10, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Armenia will
sign in Zurich a protocol for the normalization of bilateral ties.

JEFFREY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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