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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001614

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JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2009

Media Highlights: Iran's Nuclear Program; Economic Cooperation
Decision at the OIC; Sudan;
Turmoil in the Balkans

Gul and Ahmedinejad Discuss Iran's Nuclear Program
Although initial Iranian wire service reports said that Tehran had
rejected the offer, Turkish media today are reporting that FM
Davutoglu said the prospects were positive. "We have taken up the
issue both during the visit of our prime minister in October and
meetings held on Sunday," Davutoglu told reporters on Monday. "We
are in a very constructive position with both the IAEA and Iran."
Habert|rk newspaper says that ElBaradei's proposal was discussed by
G|l and Ahmadinejad at the OIC conference. After the meeting of the
two presidents, debates between FM Davutoglu and his Iranian
counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki continued till midnight, the paper
adds. Haberturk also reports that before leaving Turkey yesterday,
Ahmadinejad told reporters he hadn't rejected the offer. According
to Sabah, however, the Iranian leader asked for guarantees.
Mainstream Milliyet says that Iran has 1200 kg of uranium and that
Turkey has offered to take 900 kg of this amount. Sabah says Iran
did not reject the proposal but demanded guarantees saying Turkey
has submitted the Iranian demands to the international community.

Islamic World Agrees on Economic Cooperation at the Organization of
the Islamic Conference (OIC)
Today's papers highlight the news that the Islamic World for the
first time in many years has reached an agreement for economic
cooperation. Mainstream Sabah reports that President Gul while
delivering the opening speech at the standing committee for Economic
and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the OIC said "we have to
spread the peaceful message of Islam to the world." Liberal Radikal
reports that in his speech Gul referred to concerns of the West and
said "Turkey is shifting its course. The EU process that our
country is following and its initiatives within the scope of COMCEC
are elements of our foreign policy that support each other."
Iranian President Ahmedinejad commented that "capitalism has
collapsed" while urging OIC members to "unite to make their
economies stronger." Syrian President Asad is quoted as saying that
"the development of economic ties among Islamic countries would help
them deal with international competition." Afghanistan leader
Karzai said that Islamic countries have broad economic power and
must set up a partnership. Islamist oriented Yeni Safak drew
attention to the peace messages of all the leaders who were
attending the summit.

Sudan
Officials are denying bigtime that Turkey pressed Bashir to cancel
trip. Islamist-oriented Zaman quotes Sudanese officials as saying
that "President Gul did not ask Sudanese President Bashir to cancel
his trip to Turkey. The annulment of the trip was related to
domestic problems." Zaman then notes that, in contrast to the EU,
the US refrained from criticizing Turkey while underlining the
importance it attached to any messages to be given to Bashir by the
Turkish leadership during the intended visit. In a related story,
Hurriyet Daily News reports today that Turkey says it is
reconsidering joining the Rome Statute if terrorism is included as a
crime under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Hurriyet and Vatan report that Erdogan's latest comments on the
situation are making headlines in Israel. Vatan draws attention to
reports that Erdogan said the war crimes committed by Israel were
worse than the crimes committed in Sudan. Hurriyet says that this
latest gasp is fueling a fresh crisis between Turkey and Israel.

Mainstream Milliyet's senior columnist Sami Kohen welcomes the
decision of Sudanese President Al-Bashir not to come to Turkey and
says "If Bashir had insisted on coming to Turkey and Turkish
government had continued welcoming and defending him, within the
framework of global norms, Turkey would be included in a category of
countries thinking differently than the majority of international
public. If Turkey desires to be considered as part of the Western
World, then, it should give a fine tuning to its policies, stance

ANKARA 00001614 002 OF 002


and mentality. In short, recent Bashir incident did not do any good
to Turkey's image."

Turkey Maneuvers to Prevent New War in the Balkans
Mainstream Aksam gives extensive coverage to a fresh escalation of
tensions in Bosnia. The paper notes that the country has come to
the verge of war after 14 years of peace and that the Dayton
agreement that ended the war in Bosnia 14 years ago is about to
collapse. While Europe remains silent on the developments in
Serbia, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu has launched silent
diplomacy to reverse the dangerous developments in the Balkans.
Aksam notes that Davutoglu was in contact with his Bosnian and
Serbian counterparts. Aksam editor Ismail Kucukkaya commented on
the issue and said that Ankara was aware of the risks in Bosnia and
that is why Turkey is engaged in secret diplomacy in the region.

Dogan Newspaper Sale
Newspapers are reporting that tax-embattled Dogan Group will
announce the sale of a section of its holding companies, including
four newspapers, to its German partner. Islamic oriented Yeni Safak
reports that the company plans to shed ownership in Milliyet,
Radikal, business daily Referans, Posta and a soccer newspaper.

Editorial - Commentary on Turkey's Foreign Policies
Mainstream Hurriyet's senior columnist and former Ankara rep, Sedat
Ergin in today's commentary quoted extensively from Morton
Abromowitz and Henry Barkey's recent "Foreign Affairs" article about
Turkey. Examples he selected included Erdogan scolding the Israeli
President in Davos, his defense of the Sudanese President and his
congratulating Ahmedinejad after the Iranian elections. While
using material from the article to show how the AKP government upset
positive initiatives, Ergin then distanced himself from the
criticism by saying, "please don't misunderstand, these are not my
assessments but they belong to Barkey and Abramowitz."


Upcoming events:

Q November 10: Ceremonies will be held around the country to
commemorate Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Q November 10: The government plans to debate the "Democratic
Initiative" in the parliament.
Q November 11-12: Afghanistan Reconstruction Summit will be held in
Istanbul.

TV News (NTV)

Domestic

Q The Health Ministry said three more people have died in the swine
flu outbreak, and the death toll climbed to 30
Q Opposition CHP wants to postpone the debate in the parliament
today on the government's Kurdish "Democratic Initiative."
Q Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said a new regulation concerning
children throwing stones at the security forces would be sent to the
parliament soon.
Q The number of Israeli tourists coming to Turkey decreased by 44.62
percent in the first ten months of the year following the angry
debate of PM Erdogan with President Peres in Davos.

World

Q President Obama will begin a four-nation tour of Asia on
Wednesday.
Q Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has formed a new unity
government that includes two ministers from Syrian and
Iranian-backed Hezbollah.
Q Celebrations are held to mark the 20th year anniversary of the
fall of the Iron Curtain.

JEFFREY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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