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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2009

Media Highlights

More Soldiers Yes, Combat No (Aksam)
Mass circulation Aksam headlines in "More Soldiers Yes, Combat No"
that Turkish PM Erdogan will agree to an additional 500 more troops
for the new Afghanistan surge, but they won't be in combat.
Cumhuriyet concurs that Turkey will offer more troops (number
unspecified) while Islamist-oriented Zaman in "We Don't Want to
Fight," notes President Gul's comments on 12/3 that "if we fight, we
will lose the respect of all sides, including the Taliban" but that
Erdogan will stress that Turkey was ready to continue to make
contributions in Afghanistan in his December 7 meeting with
President Obama. Mainstream Hurriyet in "Uncle Sam Wants 1000 More
Combat Troops" reports that the US has been actively pressuring
Turkey to increase its numbers and that Ambassador Jeffrey was
"feeling the pulse of Ankara" before the PM's upcoming White House
meeting. CNNTurk TV and online writes in "5,000 Troops Pledged to
Afghanistan," that "NATO member countries plan to send 5,000 more
troops to Afghanistan. CNNTurk reported that Italy, Poland, England,
Spain, Czech Republic and Slovakia have agreed to boost their troop
commitment but Turkey will hold at around 1700, having recently
boosted numbers in taking over the Kabul regional command last
month. CNN Turk also reported on Turkey's bid at NATO to include
Bosnia in MAP.

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Mainstream Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen says that "President Obama
wanted to show that the war in Afghanistan is not only a US war and
asked for active support from the international community, mainly
not to allow Afghanistan and its neighbors to be dominated by an
out-dated Taliban regime." He adds, however, that Turkey's strategy
is based on cultural ties to Afghanistan and therefore, "it will not
be possible for Erdogan to accept such a request from President
Obama." Mainstream Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi reflects his
concern that Erdogan will ultimately say yes to Obama's request for
more troops. "This is not a new request for Turkey to take an
active role," he writes, "However, just glancing in the past, we'll
see many cases that Turkey's red lines have been violated by the AKP
government." Noting that the GoT has caved in previous stances
regarding Barzani and others, Eksi writes "that is why we are
concerned that Erdogan will change his stance on Afghanistan issue
as well and accept Obama's request."

Holbrooke: Turkey Has Huge Potential in Afghanistan (Radikal)
Liberal Radikal, in an above the fold banner story headlined "Turkey
Is Indispensable," showcases Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin's
exclusive interview with Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke. In his
12/4 column, Yetkin writes that Holbrooke commented that: "We are
not requesting anything from Turkey for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We are talking about what else we can do together with Turkey.
There is already Turkish military presence in Afghanistan, anyway.
If Turkey doesn't send additional troops, it will not harm our
Afghanistan policies. However, Turkey's impact on Afghanistan is
more than any other country and second after the US. Turkey has the
potential to do more in Afghanistan than any other country. We
believe that Turkey's cooperation in the fight in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, is indispensable for the US. Therefore, we are working
intensively with Turkey." Murat Yetkin concludes that "as
President Gul said, it is critically important that Turkey is not a
fighting force in that region" and notes that "the US and NATO has
started to see this, as well."

Davutoglu: Turkey Will Press Hard for Bosnia's NATO-MAP Membership
(CNNTurk, BBC)
CNNTurk and BBC report from Brussels that Foreign Minister Davutoglu
said Turkey would press hard for NATO membership for
Bosnia-Herzegovina and stressed that Bosnians felt left out by the
EU, which has extended visa-free travel to Serbia and Montenegro.
"We want Bosnia-Herzegovina to feel that the international community
cares for them," said Davutoglu, "we cannot forget that we watched
three years of massacres in Bosnia-Herzegovina, now we can't just
leave them alone."

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Davutoglu Details Efforts for Cooperation With Greece (Radikal)
Papers reported that FM Davutoglu said Turkey and Greece should turn
their problems into advantage by agreeing on a common vision for the
future. Islamist-oriented Zaman says that Davutoglu, who also
interviewed with Greek Ta Nea, agreed to four important principles
with Greek PM/FM Papandreou. Returning on plane from Athens on his
way to Brussels, Zaman and Radikal report that Davutolglu listed
four priorities: establishing a joint high level strategic
mechanism; adopting a joint Turkey - Greece attitude towards the EU;
establishing regional cooperation measures in the Balkans, Middle
East, Eastern Med and the Caucasus; and cooperating in global level
initiatives such as the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change
conference.

Constitutional Court to Hear DTP Closure Case December 8
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports the Constitutional Court would begin
hearing on December 8 the closure case which had been filed against
the Kurdish DTP for being a focal point of separatist activities.
The court rapporteur is reportedly weighing for closure. If the
party is closed, its lawmakers could be given political bans of five
years each. The votes of seven out of the 11 court members are
needed for disbanding the party. Liberal Radikal says the case was
filed two years ago, but the court has decided to hear it now, in
the middle of the government's Kurdish "democratic overture"
process.

Fight Against Climate Change: Turkey's Growing Support
Today's Zaman reports that President Gul is planning to attend the
last two days of the Copenhagen climate change conference and
reports that parliamentarians hailed the move as evidence of
Turkey's growing support for the fight against global climate
change. Speaking at the inauguration of Turkey's new water pipeline
system, Gul noted that "with today's modern systems, it is possible
to use and benefit from the water currently emptying into the
Mediterranean." Anatolian News Agency reports on the ongoing
Economic Coordination Council meeting in Ankara that is addressing
climate change issues ahead of Copenhagen. Meanwhile, in "Turkish
Farmers to Reap Bitter Harvest," Hurriyet Daily News online reports
that "Turkey will have a climate similar to that in North Africa
with increasing temperature and decreasing precipitation" which will
"threaten food quality and agricultural productivity." The paper
cites experts from Ankara University's agriculture department who
testified that "climate change is likely to hit the production of
crops that require water, such as cotton and sugar beets" and
commented that Turkey should invest in high-tech irrigation systems
and the production of drought-resistant crops.

TV News (NTV)

Domestic

Q Pharmacists, claiming they suffer great losses over the government
discount on medicine prices, will pull down shutters Friday.
Q Opposition CHP and MHP have voiced concern that the PKK's
imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan could be granted a "retrial."
Q 46 more people die of the pandemic strain of H1N1 and the total
death toll in Turkey climbs to 223.
Q Fitch Ratings upgrades Turkey's credit ranking two levels to BB+.

Q Airbus has announced Turkey plans to buy 277 new aircraft worth
USD 28.3 billion over the next 20 years.

World

Q A survey conducted in France shows that 46 percent of French
people were against the construction of minarets.
Q The White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told a news briefing time
was running out for Iran to avoid sanctions over its nuclear
program.
Q Afghanistan's President Karzai said he was willing to talk with

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the Taliban chief in a bid to bring peace to the country.
Q The Kremlin has announced Russia and the Vatican have agreed to
establish full diplomatic relations.
JEFFREY

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