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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2009

Media Highlights

Obama: Turkey a Partner; Erdogan A Friend (Hurriyet) Live coverage
of Turkish PM Erdogan's meeting with President Obama dominated the
Turkish airwaves throughout the evening 12/7 and rules the front
pages of Turkey's bombastic print media sector today. Despite
somber news of a terrorist attack that left seven soldiers dead in
central Anatolia, all major news channels reported live from
Washington and hosted panels of experts in the studios with NTV TV
fielding correspondents reporting live from Erbil and Kabul. In a
front page double banner "Full Consensus at Summit," liberal Radikal
zeroed in on Obama's comment that "Turkey can be an important
player" in finding a solution to the crisis with Iran. Mainstream
Sabah headlines "Turkey is our Guarantee in the Region" and reports
that Obama emphasized that as a secular, democratic Muslim majority
country, Turkey is able to contribute not only to regional peace but
global peace as well. Conservative Today's Zaman notes Turkey's
approach has raised Western concerns but for the U.S. "Turkey's
blossoming relations with Iran have eased Tehran's isolation as
Washington tires to pressure the Islamic republic into a deal."
Circulation giant Hurriyet headlined "Vital Partner" and chronicled
the deliverables, from cooperation in counter-terrorism and
economics, as well as science, art, politics and technology.
Islamist-oriented Zaman in "Model Partnership with US Comes True,"
and other media gave prominent play to the two leader's unifed
approach to terrorism, and expression of condolences for martyred
members of the Turkish armed forces who died in the 12/7 ambush in
Topak, noting that PM Erdogan said "Now is not the time to gain
enemies, but to make friends." Mainstream Vatan highlights
President Obama's comments on the PKK issue as saying "PKK is our
Common Enemy but the problem cannot be solved only with military
means" and notes the President's praise for PM Erdogan's "courageous
steps" in the Kurdish "democratic opening." Hurriyet's senior
columnist Sedat Ergin described the meetings as a positive and noted
that "White House visits always strengthen the political positions
of Turkish leaders. Erdogan will return to Turkey with the wind of
gained support from the White House." The paper also notes that at
the joint press conference, President Obama concluded by saying "I
am very happy to call Turkey a partner and Erdogan as a Friend."
Noting that the meeting went on for more than two hours,
leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet in "Two Hours Bargaining" reports
that PM Erdogan stressed that necessary steps will be taken in order
to re-open the Halki Seminary.

Ambush: 7 Martyrs (Sabah)
All media outlets give extensive coverage to the terrorist attack
killing seven Turkish soldiers near Tokat in the northern part of
Turkey. Mainstream Hurriyet reports the terrorists took advantage of
the foggy weather to attack the gendarme team near the town of
Resadiye in Tokat province. Liberal Radikal says the attack fueled
tensions as the Constitutional Court starts discussing to disband
DTP while at the same time protests in support of Ocalan in East and
Southeast are becoming effective in the larger cities. Mainstream
Milliyet reports PKK, DHKP-C and TIKKO have carried out activities
in the region but there was no immediate indication of who was
behind the attack. Mainstream Vatan draws attention to the politics
of the region, noting that the Nationalist party MHP, which showed
the strongest reaction to the government's Kurdish opening, had 50
percent of the votes in Resadiye. Meanwhile leftist Taraf
highlights the timing saying the attack targeted the GoT's
democratic initiative on the Kurdish minority and came a few hours
before the Erdogan-Obama meeting. Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak says
the ambush was the latest attempt to undermine tranquility. All
papers report Turkish leaders including President Gul, PM Erdogan
condemned the deadly attack. Vatan's Columnist Ruhat Mengi in "PM
is in the US While the Country is Given Over to Terror" harshly
criticizes PM Erdogan as "While Turkey is suffering under terror
because of the opening Erdogan initiated by taking the terror
organization [PKK] as an interlocutor, the PM and his wife are
staying in one of the most luxurious and most expensive hotels in
Washington. While the mothers of the seven martyrs of Tokat are

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crying, TV channels are focusing on Erdogan's meeting by
highlighting the two leaders meaningless words and calling each
other "my friend, my partner," as if there were any positive
results of any of their earlier meetings."

Decision Day for DTP
Turkish media all report that the Constitutional Court will begin
debating a closure case against the DTP today. Mainstream Vatan
reports that according to the Turkish Constitution, seven votes are
necessary in order to close the party and notes that "today it will
be decided whether the 219 DTP members, including party chair Ahmet
Turk and many mayors, will be banned from the politics.
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak says the indictment for the case was
prepared by the chief prosecutor two years ago and there are 141
different charges in it against DTP. Vatan columnist Bilal Cetin on
12/8 notes that during the last two years, "DTP officials exerted
every effort to support the chief prosecutor's claims and they
openly showed that their party was linked to PKK terror
organization. Moreover, they ignored the friendly warnings of many
actors including the EU Ambassadors, to distance themselves from the
terror organization. After all this, a closure decision has a very
high possibility."

US Presents 'Country of the Year Award' for Turkey
In "Turkey-US Go Into Model Partnership," mainstsream Star newspaper
and Turkish wire services report on a new economic partnership
announced during the PM Erdogan visit to Washington. As reported in
the Turkish-American web portal www.turkishny.com, US Trade
Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke
inaugurated a new "Framework for Strategic Economioc and Commerical
Cooperation" with Turkey during the Erdogan visit. At the
inauguration, Turkish State Minister and Deputy PM Ali Babacan said
that "US-Turkish commercial and investment relations were advancing
well and there was a potential for improvement." In addition, the
US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has announced Turkey as the
recipient of the "2009 Country of the Year" award. The agency's
statement said, "this award is a reflection on the success of the
Agency's program in Turkey supporting their development priorities."
USTDA Acting Director Leocadia Zak said "this important award
reflects the strong economic relations between Turkey and the US."

Erdogan: Genocide Not in the Family
In his speech at Johns Hopkins University and before he officially
launched a new Turkish office in Washington, PM Erdogan said that
lobbying is not enough for resolving the Armenian issue and added
"my ancestors didn't and won't commit genocide." He said that claims
that Turkey 'shifting its axis' are unfair and emphasized that he
expects the Minsk Group to get more serious on the resolution of
Nagorno-Karabakh, so that both the Azeri-Armenian and
Turkey-Armenian conflicts will be resolved. On a question regarding
the gas agreement with Iran and whether it's discussed in his
meeting with President Obama, Erdogan said "Turkey is against
nuclear weapons in the region and nuclear capacity could be used
only for peaceful means. Turkey will do its best to resolve the
concerns on Iran's nuclear program."

Copenhagen: Useful Result Hard To Get. Stating a common media
theme, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet headlines "An Opportunity the
World Must Not Miss" while mainstream Hurriyet in "A Useful Result
will be Hard to Get at Copenhagen" more darkly comments that "except
for the hope generated by Obama's decision to attend on the last
day, there is no evidence that binding and useful decisions will
result from the summit." In "Climategate spread from Turkey"
Hurriyet continues that the conference is still struggling with the
fall-out from the stolen East Anglia e-mails and that the theft,
which it suggests was instigated by the Russian Secret Service and
spread via Turkish servers, should be called "Pirategate".
Mainstream Milliyet headlines "To save the climate, 1200 limousines
and 140 planes" but then focuses on previously announced national
reduction targets. Liberal Radikal notes in "Release in 12 days of
as much CO2 as an African Country" condemns the 321 million TL

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participant expense and 41 tons of CO2 released at the conference,
but continues that the gathering has become "Hopenhagen." Economic
daily Referans headlines "Global warming can only be reduced with a
10 trillion dollar investment" in a long detailed article focused on
the climate change economics and predicts "large negative results if
the summit fails."

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

- A group of 200 DTP activists rallied in Tunceli and threw Molotov
cocktails at bank branches, police cars and shops. Police used
teargas to dispurse the protesters

- Interior Minister Besir Atalay said government's democratic
opening process was continuing but fiercely criticized DTP for
fueling unrest in the southeast

- DTP deputy Selahattin Demirtas held a press conference to denounce
the killing of a student during protests in Diyarbakir

- Interior Minister Atalay said 119 people were arrested in
connection with recent outlawed protests in various parts of Turkey

- Turkey is one of the 13 countries with upgraded credit rating this
year

- Turkish banks report 53.7 percent increase in profits this year


World

- Iranian security forces break up anti government demonstrations
in central Tehran

- A suicide bomber attacked a court in Pakistan's northwestern city
of Peshawar, killing six and injuring more than 30

- The Azerbaijani Embassy in Ukraine delivers a diplomatic note to
the Ukranian Foreign Ministry for airing an anti-Azerbaijani film on
TV
SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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