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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2009

Media Highlights: Secretary Clinton in Israel; Ahmadinejad to Visit
Turkey; Davutoglu Visits Northern Iraq; Erdogan to Visit the US;
Afghanistan Elections

Hillary Blow to Palestinians (Radikal)
Under an inside-pages headline, "Patience Has a Limit," mainstream
Hurriyet reports Secretary Clinton made a "tough statement" on
Iran's nuclear program in Israel. "We prefer solutions such as
processing low enriched uranium outside Iran. But we will not wait
forever -- patience has a limit," said Clinton. In "The US Retracts
Settlement Condition," Islamist-oriented Zaman reports that at
Saturday's joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyahu, Clinton said Israel is putting significant limits on
settlement activity. Clinton has lauded Israel for making
"unprecedented concessions" for re-launching peace talks with the
Palestinians, says Zaman. In "Hillary Blow to Palestinians,"
liberal Radikal says Clinton, while pressing Abbas, claimed that
Israel brought "unprecedented limitations" on new settlements.


Ahmadinejad to Visit Istanbul November 8-9
All papers report Iranian President Ahmadinejad will visit Istanbul
on November 8-9 to attend the 25th session of the Standing Committee
for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization
of the Islamic Conference to be held in Istanbul from November 5-9.
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak says Ahmadinejad would visit Turkey
right after Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Tehran. In "Iranian
Leader to Visit Turkey Again," mainstream Milliyet says Ahmadinejad
would meet President Gul and ask for Turkish support on Tehran's
nuclear program. Liberal Radikal says prior to his travel to
Turkey, Ahmadinejad commented the West cannot be trusted in nuclear
negotiations, and said that the power of Iran's adversaries amounts
to that of a "mosquito."

Editorials on Iran

Omer Taspinar commented in mainstream Sabah under the headline
"Honeymoon between Turkey and Iran Concerns the West": "If the
diplomatic negotiations between the US and Iran fails, because of
its intense political and economic relations with Iran, Turkey might
fall into a difficult situation. Potentially, this situation is
more important than the Turkey-Israel crisis. Because, being
concerned themselves about Israel and Netanyahu's stance, the West
can understand the problems Turkey has with Israel. However, when
it comes to Iran, the US and the EU will not have the same
understanding. If Russia also decides to join the side of the West,
Turkey might find itself lonely in the UN and in the Western
platforms because the US and the EU have exhibited a joint stance
against Iran since 2005. When the Iran issue comes to the UN level,
all eyes will turn to temporary member Turkey. If Turkey doesn't
support the West at this level, then the beliefs of the West about
Turkey moving towards the Middle East will get stronger. Therefore,
the AKP government should watch its steps carefully. Turkey's ties
with Iran desperately need fine tuning. Hopefully, Ankara will
assess its position prior to PM Erdogan's US visit on December 7."

Erdal Saglam assessed in mainstream Hurriyet under the headline
"Getting Iran Gas is not as Easy as It is Said": "Turkey signed a
gas agreement with Iran under more difficult conditions than the
previous ones. We had held the same hopes in the past as well and
all our hopes had failed at the end. To start with, huge amounts of
money is needed for this kind of business. Moreover, many
international companies are searching for gas in the 29 blocks of
the Pars region. Even though the government says the US is not
reacting to the gas agreement, as happened in the past, the US is
not showing its reaction openly. Turkey might be able to transfer
Iranian gas to Europe through Nabucco only after it gets full EU
membership. Meanwhile, giving wrong information to the public and
pretending that everything is running smoothly will bring more harm
than the good."


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Davutoglu Pays 'Historic Visit' to Northern Iraq
Weekend papers report Foreign Minister Davutoglu, who visited
northern Iraq over the weekend, opened Turkish consulates in Basra
and Mosul. On Friday, Davutoglu met with Massoud Barzani, the
president of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.
The visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister has been perceived by
some observers as recognition of the autonomous government of
northern Iraq. Davutoglu, however, said Turkey recognizes Iraq and
that Iraq, like the US, had a federal structure. "Do you think that
a visit to Texas would mean recognition of Texas?," asked Davutoglu.
Saturday's Aksam comments that with Davutoglu's visit, northern
Iraq became a new neighbor, emphasizing that Turkey has abandoned
its former policy of ignoring northern Iraq. Papers report
Davutoglu described the visit as an "historic turning point," and
note that this was Turkey's first official contact with northern
Iraq following the "unofficial" contacts of intelligence officials,
diplomats and military officials with the representatives of the
KRG. Turkish papers expect the pressure exerted on the PKK to
increase as a result of the new developments. Papers comment
Davutoglu went to northern Iraq to demand the elimination of the PKK
and the evacuation of the refugees in Makhmur Camp.

Editorial on Northern Iraq-PKK

Ferai Tinc supports FM Davutoglu's visit to Northern Iraq in
Hurriyet under the headline "Getting PKK Out of the Way": "At last,
the Turkish Foreign Minister shook hands with the Kurdistan
Administration. This was a very positive development. This meeting
was received very positively in Irbil also. The reason for
continuously escalating the relationship between Turkey and Iraq is
the presence of the PKK in the region. And this situation will not
change as long as the relations are based on the PKK presence.
Because the PKK is not an isolated group which lives at the top of
the mountain but is a part of the regional public. Whether we like
it or not, the PKK became a component of the politics in Northern
Iraq. In order to have improved relations with our neighbors we
should stop expecting a solution to the PKK issue from Iraqi Kurds.
We should center energy cooperation in our relations instead of the
PKK. Moreover, we should strengthen the infrastructure of the
economic cooperation, support the ties between NGOs, and diversify
the projects in the fields of culture and education. The ties
between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds will be stronger only after these
things are realized. In short, the PKK should be kept out of the
way in our ties with the Iraqi Kurdistan Administration."

Turkey's Role in Its Region Will be Discussed in Erdogan's US Visit
(Cumhuriyet)
The deputy chairman of the ruling Ak Party, Kursad Tuzmen, commented
on Prime Minister Erdogan's forthcoming visit to the US in a
front-page report in leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet under the
headline "We'll Discuss Turkey's Ties with its Neighbors in the US."
"The issues of Turkey-Armenia, Turkey-Israel ties, and the US' Iraq
exit policy will be raised during Erdogan's visit to the US," said
Tuzmen. He added Turkey's position and role in the region would
also be discussed. "This visit is indicative of a period in which
we will do important work. I see it as an important invitation for
leaving behind the ups and downs in ties between the two countries,"
emphasized Tuzmen. He also noted that the US was a "huge economy,"
but lamented the fact that Turkey cannot take enough share from it.


Afghan Rival Drops Out of Election
Media outlets today observe Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah
Abdullah quit the election run-off after accusing the government of
not meeting his demand for a fair vote. In "Abdullah Quits, But
Afghan Run-Off Will Go Ahead," liberal Radikal notes "Abdullah said
he made his decision after Karzai turned down his demands for
changes in the Independent Election Commission and other measures
that he said would prevent massive fraud." A leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet headline reads, "Election Turmoil in Afghanistan," and
notes, "the decision of former Afghan FM Abdullah leaves doubts over

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the legitimacy of the next government." In "Abdullah Withdraws,
Karzai is the Only Candidate," Islamist-oriented Zaman speculates
that "a weakened Afghan government under President Karzai would be a
blow for the US administration as it decides whether to send more US
troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan."

Upcoming events:

Q November 2: President Gul pays an official visit to Slovakia.
Q November 2: The Council of Ministers will hold a meeting to be
chaired by Prime Minister Erdogan.
Q November 2: Foreign Minister Davutoglu visits Malaysia for the
Islamic countries' D-8 meeting.
Q November 8: CHP leader Deniz Baykal will go to Iraq to meet Iraqi
President Talabani.

TV News (NTV)

Domestic

Q The Turkish Health Ministry announced swine flu killed six in
Turkey, with three patients dying on Sunday because of the virus. A
mass swine flu vaccination will start Monday.
Q One baby and three children are killed in flashfloods caused by
torrential rains in Yalova and Mardin.
Q Former US President Bill Clinton and former German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroder are in Istanbul for a conference on "Leadership for
Sustainable Success."
Q Entrepreneurs in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir have staged
protests against banks that decline to give them loans.

World

Q Syrian Head of State Assad says the rapprochement between Turkey
and Iran has been continuing for long time.
Q Israeli demonstrators protest against the arrival in the country
of a Swedish journalist who accused Israel of stealing organs from
dead Palestinians.
Q A Hamas lawmaker jailed in 2007 has been set free by Israel.
Q The former leaders of the Soviet Union, West Germany, and the US
meet in Berlin to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.


JEFFREY

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