Search

 

Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

VZCZCXRO5294
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1771/01 3481238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141238Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1463
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0190
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 6644
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 4328
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 7688
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 7595
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4192
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001771

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2009

Media Highlights

Ian Kelly's Statement Receives Prominent Play:
In their Sunday editions, Turkish media gave prominent play to the
US reaction (Hurriyet, Aksam, Sabah, Vatan, Taraf, Cumhuriyet).
While some papers highlighted the limited US criticism by comparing
it with the EU reaction, most papers carried the call for the
continuation of the democratization process. Cumhuriyet carried
Kelly's full text and noted that the "EU called the closure decision
an obstacle" while the US called for "caution." Mainstream Aksam
contrasted the EU and the US statements by labeling them "Europe is
displeased" and "the US is cautious."

Constitutional Court Bans DTP:
All TV channels interrupted regular Friday evening programming to
focus on the Constitutional Court's decision to close the DTP.
Saturday's papers used banner headlines and gave extensive front
page coverage to the court decision. Saturday's mainstream Hurriyet
headlined "The reason for the closure is DTP being the center of
terrorist activities" and reported that the unanimous court decision
banned 37 party members, including party chair Ahmet Turk and
Diyarbakir deputy Aysel Tugluk, from politics for five years.
Saturday's leftist Taraf condemned the court decision with a banner
headline saying "They divided Turkey in Ankara" and said that
"taking the Kurds political rights away will harm the peace process
more than the massacre in Tokat." Talking to journalists following
the court decision, Ahmet Turk said "Closing parties is not a
solution. Problems can be resolved by common wisdom and dialog. We
still have hope that sooner or later the peace will win."
Saturday's mainstream Sabah headlined the decision as a "Ban for
Doves, Freedom for Hawks" and said that the more moderate co-chair
of the DTP, Ahmet Turk was punished, and hawkish co-chair Emine Ayna
was not touched. Mainstream Haber Turk Saturday headline reads "For
Not Having Distance from the PKK, DTP is Closed too", and notes that
DTP is the fifth party using the same arguement, closed by the
Constitutional Court. All papers quoted Constitutional Court
President Hasim Kilic as saying "No party has the right to use words
or acts which contains terror, violence and pressure." Mainstream
Aksam noted that Hasim Kilic said that the ban was based on the
ruling of the European Court of Human Rights issued for Spanish
separatist party Batasuna. However, Sunday's Taraf quotes Ahmet
Turk as saying "the court decision is political." Sunday's Vatan
headline reads "Turkey's Reality" and reports that, less than 24
hours after the closure of his party for its link to PKK, DTP chair
Ahmet Turk sent his son to the military to fulfill his compulsory
military service.

DTP Close Down Aftermath:
Media outlets treat the events related to the DTP closure aftermath
with great concern and report developments under 'breaking news'
headlines. The street protests over the weekend in both the
southeast and Istanbul as well as counter-reactions from Istanbul
locals were the front page headline story in every paper and
prominent on television channels. Carrying photos from Diyarbakir
and Istanbul, where some local residents went after the protestors,
mainstream Aksam calls them "Terrifying Scenes" and mainstream
Milliyet reports "Dangerous Mounting of Tension." Islamist Zaman
claims "PKK's new strategy is to produce counter-violence."
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that Istanbul locals pointed guns at DTP
demonstrators: "When DTP supporters began causing material damage to
the area and when they crashed a cafe's window where Turkish flag
was posted, people in the vicinity began chasing them while some
carried guns. A similar reaction occurred also in Mersin." Leftist
Taraf identifies "Scenes of Civil War" and nationalist-leftist
Cumhuriyet headlines "Great Danger."

Editorial Commentary:
The closure of DTP has become the dominant subject for columnists
who mostly agreed that the DTP failed to distance itself from the
PKK. Turkey's prominent pundits however call on the government to

ANKARA 00001771 002 OF 003


continue with democratization. Enis Berberoglu in mainstream
Hurriyet points out the importance of the Kurdish problem stressing
that the "DTP is closed but the Kurdish problem continues the same.
Opposition parties should bring up suggestions for solution." He
also considers three main reasons leading to what he calls "an end"
to the Kurdish initiative: "Imprisoned leader Ocalan did not want to
give any say to the DTP while the DTP also did not distance itself
from the PKK's political captive while the returnees from Iraq came
to Turkey as if they were heroes." Semih Idiz in mainstream
Milliyet suggests the need for a new social contract by amending the
constitution and notes: "Given the current situation, Turkey seems
to be in a process of shooting itself in the foot regarding the
Kurdish issue." Yasin Aktay in Islamist Yeni Safak thinks the
closure of DTP puts the government in a difficult position: "For
dismembering the DTP, ruling party support is needed for processing
DTP resignations. If AKP does not move forward, it will be put
under fire by the opposition. Yet if it does, it may put the
country immediately into an election situation." The pundit thinks
"continuing with democratization" will be a good way for the
government to address the problem. Omer Taspinar in mainstream
Sabah writes that the closure of DTP will bring consequences "not
only for domestic politics but also for international relations" and
he believes Turkey's EU process will be negatively affected.

MHP Rally: Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) held a rally in
Ankara on Sunday with more than 50,000 supporters to protest the
government's approach on the Kurdish initiative. Calling the
Kurdish initiative "a project to demolish Turkey," MHP leader
Bahceli called on PM Erdogan to "give up on the project as soon as
possible" and act with common sense. (Papers)

Call for Constitutional Amendment: Islamist Yeni Safak in an
analysis, based on interviews with former members of the high
judiciary and several experts, calls for constitutional amendments
in order to avoid party closures in the future. The report suggest
that there be a revision to the "being a center" wording, which
paves the way for party closures, and also that it be made more
specific. The report states that the EU style, i.e. Venice
criterion, must be the guidance for the Constitutional Court when it
comes to evaluating party closure files. These steps need
constitutional amendments and action has to be taken by the
parliament, Yeni Safak notes.

Human Rights Scorecard:
In a prominent inside story, intellectual/Islamist-oriented Sunday's
Zaman on 12/13 surveyed experts regarding Turkey's human rights
record for the year noting "historical gains and upsetting
disappointments." Despite gains in religious freedoms, the paper
found no decrease in the number of rights violations perpetrated by
security forces in 2009, with five people dying while in custody and
33 dying in prison as of Dec. 1. In addition to 252 complaints
filed over torture and ill treatment, Sunday's Zaman notes five
demonstrators died and 269 were injured as a result of excessive
force in 2009, and adds that heavy prison sentences for Kurdish
children "is a cause for concern." For women, Sunday's Zaman says
there is the added dimension of gender-biased rights violations. In
Turkey, where 42 percent of women are targeted by sexual or physical
violence, "issues from domestic violence to official and unofficial
discrimination, in the workplace and in education, continue to be
pressing issues."

FM Davutoglu and His Cabinet:
Mainstream Milliyet's columnist Asli Aydintasbas wrote an analysis
of Foreign Minister Davutoglu and his close aides. Speaking with
the Foreign Minister, the writer wonders if Turkish Foreign Ministry
has sufficient number of experienced diplomats in order to address
the changing role of Turkey in the global scene. Answering the
question, Davutoglu agrees: "We need more people for sure, as we do
not have enough diplomats, experts and ambassadors. The main reason
is that the Turkish foreign diplomacy structure originally was not
designed for Turkey's active global role." Commenting on Turkey-US

ANKARA 00001771 003 OF 003


ties, FM Davutoglu says: "Turkey is no longer a country which tries
to respond to American demands. It is now one of the two allies.
For years there has been a psychology that America demands and
Turkey pays for consequences if it does not accept them. Now
everybody accepts that we can be different." According to
Davutoglu, Turkish-American relations are getting even better and
points out that there were six meetings between President Obama and
PM Erdogan during this year alone.

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

- DTP officials are removing the DTP labels from their offices

- DTP activists stage violent protests to denounce the closure of
the party

- Coal mine in Bursa is closed for six months after an explosion
that killed 19 workers last week

- Budget debates start in parliament on December 10


World

- The Jerusalem Post: "Turkey's hostility towards Israel is a
strategic move"

- The detention of around 1200 protestors in Copenhagen over the
weekend draws reaction prior to the arrival of heads of state and
government at the UN climate change talks

- Italian PM Berlusconi was hit on the face and knocked to the
ground after a political rally in Milan

- Four people were injured in clashes with the police in Beirut
during protests against the ban of DTP

- Greek deputy FM Dimitris Droutsas says there is no place for
today's Turkey in the EU

SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Euro-Med Monitor: Updated Report On The Israeli Massacres During The Military Attack On The Gaza Strip

Geneva – The Israeli forces has killed and maimed many Palestinians in deliberate targeting of unprotected homes with families inside in inhumane military operations, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said. Since the beginning of the current ... More>>

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>