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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2009

Media Highlights

Turkey Cries for Martyrs
All papers and TV channels widely and sadly cover the funeral
ceremony held in Tokat for seven soldiers who were martyred in an
ambush. Bodies of the martyrs were sent to their respective home
towns to be buried there. During the funerals, demonstrations took
place in many provinces to condemn PKK and terrorism.

Erdogan Blasts Israel, Genocide and the EU
Turkish media continued its extensive coverage to PM Erdogan's US
visit, with emphasis today on his twin speeches at Johns Hopkins
University and the new SETA Foundation. Mainstream Hurriyet
headlines "My Ancestors Did Not Commit Genocide" and highlighted
Erdogan's comments on the Middle East. Noting his admonition that "I
am not criticizing Israel's stance in Gaza just because I am a
Muslim, but because I am a human being" Hurriyet emphasized his
characterization of Gaza as "an open prison...you can enter there
only if Israel allows it." Regarding Armenia, he rebuffed genocide
charges, and noted "if the Minsk Group resolves the Karabakh issue,
parliamentary approval of the protocols signed between
Turkey-Armenia, will be easier." Regarding EU membership,
conservative-nationalist Turkiye quotes Erdogan saying that "We will
not accept anything other than full membership in the EU."
Mainstream Sabah headlines "We Got What We Wanted" and reports that
PM's delegation characterized the Erdogan-Obama meeting as "very
successful" and "five of the eight files brought to the table by
Ankara were supported by the White House."

Editorial Whirlwind: Erdogan Aftershocks (Yeni Sefak)
Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru in "Aftershocks of the Meeting"
observes "every meeting in the White House has 'aftershocks,' just
like in previous visits of Erdogan. Turkey's attitude on the issues
of the US interest including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Arab-Israel
conflict corresponds to Obama's election platforms. Although
there's been some who wished this meeting would fail, it looks like
Erdogan impressed Obama with what he said and with his attitude."

Zaman columnist Ali Aslan says in "Intersection of Axis in
Washington," that: "Resources from both sides say that the
meetings were very positive. Turkey has gone beyond a country
profile as having geopolitic importance and military needs. Now,
it's a pragmatic and self-confident country running after its
national interests. The Obama-Erdogan meeting shows Turkey's value
with both its symbolic aspects and its content."

Hurriyet columnist Cuneyt Ulsever in "Turkey-US Ties: Iran, Critical
Threshold," says "Since the foreign policy choices of Turkey and the
US do not always match for Iran, it means that Iran issue will
remain as a critical threshold in the US-Turkey relations."

Milliyet senior Columnist Sami Kohen in "Standing Straight at the
Summit", says that "it is understood that Turkey stood up for all
its rights during the meeting in the Oval office, including on the
issues Iran, Afghanistan and Armenia. Of course, this is valid only
if there weren't different remarks when the leaders were alone."

"Erdogan: The Course of Turkey's Mission in Afghanistan is Clear"
Zaman Online reports, in an interview with CBS TV's Charlie Rose
Show on 12/8, that PM Erdogan said "Turkey's mission in Afghanistan
was clear since the beginning. If we betray the Afghan people's
trust, we may not be able to do the job that we are capable of."
Reminded that President Obama had his first overseas visit to
Turkey, Erdogan said during this visit that Obama re-characterized
the US-Turkey strategic partnership, calling it a "model
partnership." He emphasized that establishing model cooperation is
the most important step in this process. Erdogan said Turkey could
help establish Afghanistan's national army, as it did in
early-1900s, and train the Afghan police, adding that he made the
offer at the meeting with Obama. Erdogan said that Turkish officers
could train Afghan soldiers and police in Turkey and in Afghanistan.

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Erdogan also called for a well-prepared road map in Afghanistan,
saying, "if something goes wrong, we can have big troubles. In my
opinion, the basis of the road map is more important and it should
be the one to be focused on. If the road map is followed in
coordination with the people of that region, we can have very good
results."

FM Davutoglu: Israel Conflicts Are "Three Legs of the Same Stool"
Davutoglu's comments at the Washington SETA forum on 12/8 led the
morning news programs on NTV and CNNTurk, which in news programs and
online under the headline "Israel's Gaza Attacks" highlighted "we
have no tolerance for massacres any longer...regardless of religion
or creed." Mainstream Milliyet Online also reports Davutoglu had
harsh words for Israel: "Turkey views the Israeli-Palestinian,
Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese ties as three legs of the same
stool, all supporting one another. The Israeli attacks on Gaza
destroyed this balance and Israel made a big mistake during Gaza
offensive. More than that, Israel committed crimes by using
phosphorus in Gaza. . . We are working to support reconciliation
between Fatah and HAMAS, because we realize that unless there is
agreement between them, there will be no peace between Israel and
Palestine." Hurriyet reported that Davutoglu saluted President
Obama's Middle East approach, and referring to today's Iraq blasts,
said "We won't tolerate humanitarian massacres in our region any
more. Turkey condemns any terrorist attacks in Iraq irrespective of
who is targeted. . . On Iran, Davutoglu emphasized that "all
countries have a right to obtain peaceful nuclear energy. Turkey
supports a nuclear free Middle East and global nuclear disarmament.
We don't want a nuclear Iran, but nor do we want a nuclear Israel."


Washington Gives Green Light for Drones
Hurriyet senior columnist Enis Berberoglu writes in "The Secret
Behind the Second Milestone: Drones" that "the reason PM Erdogan
announced his meeting with Obama as "the second milestone in
countering PKK terrorism," has become obvious. During the recent
meetings, Washington gave the green light to deliver some critical
equipment to Turkey to be used in the fight against terrorism.
Within this framework, Turkey is planning
to buy three drones from the US."

Climate Agreement in Danger (Milliyet) Mainstream Milliyet opines
in "Climate Agreement in Danger," that "the positive atmosphere has
left and in its place are concerns" at the Summit, because "the US
and China are staying distant to demands" for lowering emissions.
In "Copenhagen Will Get Warm," leftist Taraf says "real bargaining
will start next week" and that success will depend on American and
Chinese moves on emissions. Taraf gloomily highlights Turkey's
first place position as the world's fastest emitter of greenhouse
gases and underlines that "this weakens the country's
competitiveness." Meanwhile, mainstream Hurriyet Online headlines
"Precaution At the Climate Summit: Cage to Protesters," saying
"protesters from all around the world are getting ready for huge
protests on Saturday," and that "police are taking the toughest
precautions in Denmark's history."

Afghanistan. Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak headlines, "Second NATO
Crisis in Afghanistan," and says, "NATO forces hit Lehman province
in eastern Afghanistan killing six civilians. In his surprise visit
to the country, Secretary Gates offered assurances.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports, "Defense Secretary Gates
arrived in Afghanistan, the first senior US official to visit with
Afghan President Hamid Karzai since President Obama's announcement
last week of his new strategy for Afghanistan."

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

- The Constitutional Court continues to hear the case for disbanding
DTP.

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- DTP activists attempt to rally in Izmir to protest suit for
banning their party, but tight security measures forced them to
disperse after releasing a press statement

- CHP leader Baykal criticizes the government for its determination
to press ahead with the democratic opening and says that this is
treason

- DTP leader Ahmet Turk denounces illegal protests and killing of
seven soldiers in Tokat and says this was dark provocation

- 25 DTP officials have been taken into custody in Adana


World

- Car bombs exploded in Baghdad yesterday killing at least 127
people injuring 450 people

- Greek Cypriot FM Kyprianou said "Southern Cyprus will block EU
talks in six more policy areas unless Turkey meets conditions yet to
be spelled out"
SILLIMAN

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