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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 16, 2009

US Embassy Ankara Media Reaction
Prepared by Public Affairs Information Office on a daily basis

Media Highlights: Turkey Reluctant on Missiles; US Aid to Karabakh;
Guantanamo; Scuffle Mars American Corner Opening; Trade with Turkey;
DTP Tensions; Barzani Angry on DTP; Iran Mediation in Karabakh;
Davutoglu on EU vs Middle East; Climate Change. Blogger Debates:
GMOs; DTP Closure

How the US is Playing
Missile Shield and Turkey's Reluctance: Milliyet columnist Asli
Aydintasbas comments on Ankara's reluctance at joining a new NATO
Missile Shield project. Despite ongoing Ankara-Washington bilateral
discussions, Turkish government and military sources are reluctant,
noting that "Turkish officials do not want to be in a cold war-alike
atmosphere." A Turkish military official is quoted as saying
"Russia and Iran will perceive this as threatening" and one
government source says "what happens if the missile is blown over
Turkey?" Noting concerns that a future missile shield could be
directed at Iran, Aydintasbas describes Turkey's approach as
follows: "President Obama brought up the Missile Shield project
during his meeting with PM Erdogan. Ankara, in return, asked for
more information and a bilateral mechanism was established. At this
point, Ankara awaits an official request from Washington and also
looks for clarification on who will be the target for this
project."

US Aid to Karabakh Stirs Debate: Mainstream Hurriyet's Moscow
reporter writes about "the tiff over fiscal aid" between Washington
and Baku. Azeri administration expresses anger over a Congressional
mandate for 8 million dollars in aid to Karabakh because "Baku
considers this decision as an indication of Washington's intention
to recognize the Karabakh government." The report adds that the
Azeri parliament also decided to protest the US over this issue,
despite Washington's claims that the fiscal aid is for "supporting
programs and activities in Karabakh."

Guantanamo Detainees in the US: Mainstream Sabah headline reads,
"Guantanamo Detainees' New Home, Illinois," saying, "Thomson
Correctional Center, a prison in Illinois will become a new home of
approximately 100 detainees that now are imprisoned at Guantanamo,
Cuba." Islamist- oriented Zamanwrites, "Guantanamo Moves to the
US," and notes, "US is having hard time for housing Gitmo detainees
in other countries." In "Gitmo Prisoners Will Be Thomson
Prisoners," liberal Radikal speculates "Obama who couldn't develop a
formula to prosecute the prisoners in the US, won't be able to meet
the Jan 2010 deadline for closing the Guantanamo."

Scuffle Mars American Corner Opening: Online stories from local
websites in Turkey's southeast highlight the opening of a new
American Corner at Gaziantep University and mention a small group
protesting the event, describing the protests as provocation. Most
coverage is positive, focusing on the opening of the American
Corner; the rector's positive reception and the DCM's opening
remarks and comments on nuclear issues, Israel and Palestine
relations, and President Obama's Nobel Peace prize. Meanwhile,
Milliyet online and local "guncelgazete" website highlight the
intense security measures taken after the scuffle between police and
students, as well as the types of anti-American slogans ("Go Home
Yankees") displayed.

Turkish Businessmen Hopeful About More Trade with US: Commenting on
Turkish PM's visit to Washington, Chairman of the Turkish American
Businessman Association Ugur Terzioglu expressed optimism for more
trade in 2010. "There is a model partnership between the two
countries which will pave the way to double the trade volume." The
TABA Chairman also mentioned that American firms are interested in
co-partnership model with Turkey in order to engage trade in Eurasia
and the Middle East.

Other News

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Tension Over DTP Closure - "Time to Show Common Sense" (Cumhuriyet):
All papers and TV channels report on the escalating tensions all
over Turkey following the closure of the DTP by the Constitutional
Court. Mainstream Vatan headline reads "Growing Danger" and reports
that two people were gunned down by a shopkeeper during a
demonstration in the eastern province of Mus yesterday. D
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet headlines the incident as "Time to
Show Commonsense" and says that calls were voiced to avoid tensions
and violent street protests right after the court ruling on DTP
closure and after two people died during demonstrations in Mus.
President of Workers' Union DISK Celebi said "we need commonsense
today more than any other time. The parliament is the only platform
to find solutions to problems. The government and the opposition
parties should exert joint efforts." Mainstream Sabah says that
civil activists are calling on DTP to return to the parliament and
defuse the tensions on the streets. Mainstreams Hurriyet and Sabah
report that PM Erdogan will discuss the latest incidents and growing
tensions with his Ministers today at his office.

Barzani Voices Anger Over Turkish Ban on DTP (Milliyet): KRG leader
Massoud Barzani on Tuesday slammed the Constitutional Court decision
to ban main Kurdish party DTP and said he hoped the decision would
not derail Ankara's efforts to solve the Kurdish issue. A statement
released by the office of the President of Iraq's Regional Kurdish
Administration reads: "The President's office expresses anger at the
Turkish Constitutional Court's outlawing of the DTP and hopes that
the Constitutional Court verdict will not halt the opening
process."

Azerbaijan: "Iran can Mediate to Resolve Karabakh Issue" (Hurriyet):
Azerbaijani FM Elmar Memmedyarov paid an official visit to Tehran
the other day and met with his Iranian counterpart Muttaki. At a
joint press conference following the meeting, the both ministers
indicated that other than the Minsk group, Iran can mediate to find
a solution to Karabakh issue. Muttaki quoted as saying "Iran is
ready to extend necessary assistance in order to resolve the
Karabakh issue." In response to Muttaki, Memmedyarov said "Iran is
a stable country in the region. Stability has a great importance in
order to establish dialog regarding the Karabakh issue. During our
meeting we discussed many bilateral and regional issues. Of course,
Karabakh issue had the top priority on our agenda. Our neighbor and
brother Iran, on Karabakh issue, always stood by Azerbaijan with the
statements it delivered in the international platforms at every
opportunity. We know that in the future also, Iran will exert great
efforts to establish peace in the region."

Davutoglu: "EU and Arab Countries are not Alternative to Each Other"
(Sabah): Speaking at Turk-Arab Forum in Damascus, FM Davutoglu said
"We are aiming to contribute to develop security, stability and
prosperity in the region and in the larger scale with our
multi-dimensional, proactive and constructive foreign policy."
Reminding at the forum that Turkey's relations continue with the EU
as well, Davutoglu said "EU and Arab countries are not alternative
to each other." In his speech, Davutoglu also called the Arab
countries to improve their ties with the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus.

Climate Conference: In "Climate Summit Reaches Life and Death
Point," liberal Radikal highlights "as Friday's summit finale
arrives, the outcome is unclear," noting that "large-scale protests
are expected" when ministers begin their discussions at the
conference in Copenhagen on Dec 16. Aksam's senior columnist Utku
Cakirozer says in, "Deals in Copenhagen But No Guarantees," that the
actual climate change process will start after Copenhagen and that
"all countries including Turkey will have hard bargaining to reduce
their responsibilities until 2012 - when the agreement goes into
effect."

Blogger Debates (friendfeed.com)
Turkish politics: "There is no way to resolve problems by closing
political parties. They continue to exist only under different name

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tags and the mentality remains the same."

GMO: "There is an incredible amount of disinformation about GMO in
Turkish media. Along with fanatical stories, editorial columns are
also carrying wrong or distorted information. Maybe now is the time
to fight against disinformation. Let's put a separate webpage to
explain why GMOs are not bad at all."

SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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