Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2009
Media Highlights: MFA Says Bashir Can Visit; Pundits Reject Claims
of Turkey's Eastern Drift; More Israeli Ambassador Protests; Kurdish
Democratic Roadmap; Turkey-Greece to Work for Cyprus, Aegean; PKK
Returns from Kandil, Makhmur
Turkish MFA Says Bashir Can Visit Turkey
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports an unnamed Turkish Foreign Ministry
(MFA) source stated Thursday Ankara has not accepted The Hague-based
International Criminal Court's (ICC) arrest warrant on Omar
al-Bashir, and that the Sudanese President could visit Turkey.
Bashir is expected to join an Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC) summit meeting going on in Istanbul. In "Genocide Indictee to
Make a Third Visit," Hurriyet Daily News notes that the
controversial leader "stands accused of committing war crimes." The
paper notes that Turkish Justice Minister Sadulla Ergin was "vague"
on whether Bashir would be arrested in Turkey, saying only that "the
statutory provisions of international law would be fulfilled."
Turkish Foreign Policy: Pundits Reject Claims of Turkey's Eastern
In a long piece on the state of Turkey's foreign affairs, former
European Court of Human Rights Strasbourg Judge Riza Turmen opines
that Turkey doesn't have problems in its ties with the West.
Writing in Milliyet, he says "Turkey doesn't behave like a member
of the Western Alliance. Other then the talks with the US regarding
security issues, Turkey doesn't have a foreign policy dialog with
Western countries. Islamic sensitivity in Turkey runs ahead of
Western democracies. This attitude doesn't make Turkey more
independent but only keeps Turkey out of the Western alliance."
Ferai Tinc in mainstream Hurriyet claims that Turkish foreign policy
hasn't changed its axis. She says "even though Turkey's increased
cooperation with Muslim countries is in the foreground recently,
this is not a new process but the follow up of a process Turkey has
followed since the 1980s in search of new openings in foreign
policy. Erdogan's style damages Turkey's foreign policy and plays a
great role in strengthening the belief that Turkey slips away from
the West. The AKP government believes that Turkey will become
indispensable for the EU as its effectiveness increases as a
regional power. There is nothing wrong with this thought but it is
very difficult to reach to this aim. An acrobat who plays with more
than one ball always impresses the audience, however, the
possibility of dropping and loosing the balls should always be
considered. This is the impression Turkey is recently giving."
Ambassador Levy Met with Protests Everywhere He Goes (Aksam)
All papers report Israeli Ambassador Gaby Levy was again met with
protests during his visit Thursday to the Black Sea province of
Gumushane. After meeting with the governor and mayor, Levy was met
with protests during his meeting with the representatives of local
press. Earlier, a city council member reportedly drew attention to
the Goldstone report charging Israel with genocide, and another one
told Levy Israel had to show more sensitivity regarding the rights
and freedoms of the Palestinians. Levy later told the press he was
"hurt" by the criticisms, since he considers himself, "from a
viewpoint," a Turk. Islamist-oriented Zaman questions whether the
Israeli intelligence had not warned Levy against visiting the Black
Sea region, famous for its "nationalistic reflexes" as well as
having witnessed a couple of mystery killings over recent years.
The Israeli Embassy told Zaman that the Ambassador paid visits to
two or three provinces every month, and it was part of their "public
diplomacy program." Meanwhile, NTV reported that Foreign Minister
Davutoglu, in speaking with the press, emphasized that "all
Ambassadors are traditionally regarded as guests in Turkey and
Israeli Ambassador would always be welcomed with respect.."
In "Anti-Semitism or Opportunism?" Hurriyet Daily News columnist
Yusuf Canli says the situation regarding the Israeli Ambassador is a
"tragic comedy" and opines "isn't it coincidental that whenever the
government has some serious headaches on some important and
irrelevant issues, we either have an attack on Israelis or some
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sort of controversy related to the military. . . If the Turkish
government is so keen on human rights and crimes against humanity,
why is it preparing to host yet again a butcher from Sudan?"
Erdogan Discusses with Staff 'Roadmap' for Kurdish 'Democratic
Media outlets report that prior to the debates to be held in the
parliament November 10, Prime Minister Erdogan held Thursday a
meeting with some of his cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and AK Party
officials to discuss his government's Kurdish "democratic overture."
Mainstream Milliyet says short, medium and long-term legal
arrangements for advancing the democratic overture will be taken to
the parliament. The meeting decided that the DTP's "irresponsible
actions" must be restrained and the PKK provocations must not be
allowed. Islamist-oriented Zaman says the return of the PKK members
from Europe would be put on hold, and the first target would be the
complete evacuation of Camp Makhmur in northern Iraq. In order to
prevent "shows" during arrivals, the returnees might be welcomed on
the Iraqi side of the border. Zaman expects the government to take
further steps forward and enact private broadcasts in Kurdish as
well as allow Kurdish in prisons.
Turkey-Greece Overtures: Panandreou Accepts Ministerial on Aegean
Media outlets report Greek Prime Minister Papandreou has announced
he accepted Prime Minister Erdogan's proposal to "launch ministerial
level work" between Turkey and Greece for the resolution of problems
over Aegean and Cyprus. In a letter he sent four days ago, Erdogan
said in a recent letter to Papandreou that Ankara was "encouraging"
Turkish Cyprus leader Mehmet Ali Talat's administration for a
settlement in Cyprus, and that Athens should do the same with the
Greek Cypriot administration. Erdogan also said ministers from both
countries should come together for Aegean as well. On Thursday in
Athens, Papandreou told State Minister Egemen Bagis he agreed with
Erdogan, and stressed Greece was ready to work with Turkey.
PKK Returns Expected from Kandil, Makhmur (Yeni Safak)
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports in an effort to turn a new page
in its democratic overture process, the AK Party government would
soon allow a group of 40-50 people from Mount Kandil and Camp
Makhmur to return to Turkey. The group to return will comprise of
the Kurds who have not committed crimes against Turkey. The paper
says the returns would continue until all the 11,000 refugees living
in Camp Makhmur were evacuated. The return of groups from Mount
Kandil will continue at a slower pace. The returns will intensify
in November and December, and around 1,000 Syrian and Iranian
members of the PKK will go to Syria. Yeni Safak also says that the
"hawks" in the DTP would be "silenced" for a while to avoid
escalation of tensions in the country.
Q November 6: President Gul visits the eastern city of Elazig.
Q November 6: Prime Minister Erdogan will receive Armenian cleric
Q November 6: Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis visits Berlin.
Q November 8: Iranian President Ahmadinejad will come to Istanbul
for the OIC meeting.
Q November 10: The government plans to take its Kurdish democratic
overture to the parliament for debates.
TV News (NTV)
Q CHP leader Deniz Baykal says the government made a mistake by
launching its Kurdish "democratic overture" without waiting for the
disarmament of the PKK.
Q Visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband commented on the
Ak Party government's democratic overture that Ankara deserves
support for its "courageous steps."
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Q At least 80,000 people have been vaccinated against swine flu as
the death toll from the virus reaches 21.
Q The Turkish Parliament's human rights committee plans to visit
children imprisoned for throwing stones at security forces.
Q Turkish commandoes deployed in the Gulf of Aden foiled an attempt
of pirates to hijack a Greek boat.
Q Iranian security forces arrests an AFP reporter who was covering
the rallies marking the anniversary of seizure of the US Embassy in
Q An Exxon Mobil-Shell consortium beats rival Russian, French and
Chinese groups and grabs the right to develop Iraq's West Qurna