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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2009

Media Highlights

Breaking News: Turkish TV headlines with 10,000 person protest
underway at AKP Headquarters in Ankara. CNN reports that Tobacco
Monopoly workers from various provinces came to Ankara in 106 busses
and are gathered in front of the AKP headquarters to protest lost
jobs in the provinces.

How US is Playing

10 US Senators Criticize Worsening Ties With Israel: Mainstream
Haber Turk and Hurriyet Daily News report that ten Democrat and
Republican Senators are moving forward on a letter criticizing
worsening Turkey-Israel ties. Citing the cancellation of recent
military exercises, the letter notes "Turkey's longstanding
strategic cooperation with Israel and its positive role as a honest
mediator in the Middle East are important sources of stability in
the region and are of vital importance to the US."

Iran Hikers: In "Iran Will Use Nuclear Issue As A Trump Card for
Iranian Hikers," mainstream Hurriyet says "as tensions build between
Iran and the West, Iran said that three Americans arrested in July
after crossing the border from northern Iraq would be tried."
Mainstream Sabah headlines "Three Americans Will Be Tried for
Espionage," noting comments by Iranian FM Mottaki who said the
Americans had "entered Iran illegally, with suspicious
objectives.''

Copenhagen: Ambassador Jeffrey Op-ed on Climate Change was
published in mainstream Milliyet on 12/13. Today, Turkish media
report on the refusal of African countries and G-77 members to
continue the talks in Copenhagen over disagreements on the funding
of poor countries. Columnist Sami Kohen in mainstream Milliyet
urges the need for Turkey to boost public awareness on the
environment, but notes "it is very difficult to see a binding
decision for all participating countries" because of differences
between the developed and underdeveloped ones. CNNTurk reports in
"Four Days Left to Save the World" that the UNSG Ban Ki Mun has made
a universal call and asked for developed and developing countries to
come up with a consensus instead of remaining committed to
accusations.

Other News

Last Decision: DTP Resigns from Parliament/Erdogan Comments
PM Erdogan told reporters yesterday that the government hasn't how
to proceed if all DTP members submit their resignation, as
predicted. "We prefer them to stay but we will see what we will do
when the time comes." Talking to Yeni Safak, the two prominent names
of the DTP -- Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk -- reiterated the decision
to resign from parliament, calling everyone "to think about ways for
dialogue and creating an atmosphere for brotherhood." A new
pro-Kurdish party is likely to replace the DTP, Yeni Safak reports.
In southeast Silopi, DTP name tag was removed from the building and
replaced with a new "Peace and Democracy Party" (BDP), which was
founded on May 2009. Yeni Safak columnist Murat Aksoy comments on
the parallel efforts underway to establish a brand-new leftist party
and how some Kurdish politicians are involved in the process. He
predicts the new party will be announced in early 2010.

Blogger Spotlight: Turkey's prominent blogger and columnist Yurtsan
Atakan commented in his blog: "The argument about 'no party closure
in democracies' is absolutely pointless. Threatening the regime or
working for separatism are all very reasons for party closure in
democracies. Political parties can only be closed down through
voters choice is another myth, because in reality the rule of law is
only protector of the regime and minority rights."

EU Commission Comments on the DTP Ruling: All papers report today
that Amadeu Alfataj Tardio, spokesman for the EU Commission, has

ANKARA 00001778 002 OF 002


issued a new statement commenting on the DTP ruling: "The Court
ruling will negatively impact political representation of a
significant number of voters in Turkey."

Democratic Initiative Debate Rages: In a heated parliament debate on
12/14, opposition leaders CHP Baykal and MHP Bahceli accused the
government for paving the way for internal chaos. In reply, PM
Erdogan characterized recent developments as "local incidents" and
claimed a "media exaggeration." Meanwhile, leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet headlines "Streets are Tense and Fights in Parliament is
at Fight." Turkish pundits also weighed in on the status of the
initiative. Murat Yetkin in liberal Radikal is disappointed that PM
Erdogan did not pay attention to CHP leader Baykal's call: "Baykal
pledged support if the government goes for a comprehensive
democratization package. This is an important chance for successful
outcome but Erdogan seemed busy to accuse opposition for the current
tension. Islamist Yeni Safak's Akif Emre has a suggestion for
government: "If proper steps for democratization are taken there
would be no basis left for street riots." Gungor Mengi in
mainstream Vatan thinks the election threshold is the major obstacle
before any democratic initiative: "Given current 10% election
hurdle, no initiative can go anywhere politically. It has to be
lifted completely or make it as low as 5% instead."

Turkey Mosaic: Public Opinion Poll Shows Disapproval for the
Democratic Initiative
In a country-wide survey on ethnic origins conducted by Konsensus
Research and sponsored by mainstream daily HaberTurk, 76.5% of
people resident in Turkey define themselves as "Turks" while 13.6 %
call themselves "Kurds." The rest is listed as Laz (3.3%), Arab
(1.8%) and Russian (0.01%). The support for government's Democratic
"Kurdish" initiative remained 33.1% while 66.9% expressed
disapproval.

Turkish gov't freezes shares in Dogan media units
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that the tax office froze shares in
Dogan Medya Group units, including Hurriyet Gazetecilik.

Bosnian Action Plan is Ready (Zaman) Intellectual/Islamist-oriented
Zaman reports that the Foreign Ministers of Turkey,
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia agreed on an action plan regarding the
re-construction of Bosnia during their meeting in Sarajevo
yesterday. The parties, prior to the elections in October, will
try to eliminate the internal differences between the Bosnians and
Serbs. Ankara will work on Bosnia issue intensively in January and
February, the paper adds. Within this framework, the Bosnian PM
will meet with PM Erdogan in Ankara today.

Iran's Secret Nuclear Trigger: Turkish media give prominent play to
The Times story on 'a new secret document' that demonstrates Iranian
interests in developing a nuclear bomb. In "Iran's Secret Nuclear
Document Leaked," mainstream Sabah highlights, "Iran's nuclear
program is focused on developing a nuclear bomb, indicates no civil
application." Mainstream Hurriyet headlines reads, "Iran Develops A
Nuclear Trigger," noting, "excerpts from the technical paper detail
a four-year program by Iranian scientists to develop and test a
neutron initiator, a device used to trigger a nuclear explosion."
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet, in "Iran is Very Close to An Atomic
Bomb" highlights The Times' comment that "Israel has to decide, in a
couple of months, whether to go ahead with an attack on Iran or
not."

Swine Flu Update
All papers and TV Channels today report that the death toll in swine
flu cases reached to 415.
SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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