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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2009

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

Media Highlights:

How the US is Playing
US-Turkey-Iraq Trilateral
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports in "Three Countries Call from
Baghdad: PKK Will Definitely Be Dissolved," that "the trilateral
mechanism which started in Baghdad in November 2008 by senior Iraqi,
Turkish and US officials to combat the PKK, held a meeting in
Baghdad. The meeting focused on elimination of the PKK presence and
the evacuation of the Makhmur Camp. Turkish Interior Minister Besir
Atalay announced that new and concrete decisions were taken and a
roadmap was outlined for dealing with the PKK issue. Mainstream
Hurriyet reports, "Following the second leg of the trilateral
meeting in Erbil today, Atalay will meet the Kurdish leader
Barzani." Turkish TV also quote Iraqi State Minister Waili
confirming that "evacuation of Makhmur camp" has been the emphasis
of all discussions.

Missile Shield: US Asks Turkey to Become a Radar Center (Hurriyet)
Hurriyet writer Metehan Demir today reports in a "behind the scenes"
story that "Undersecretary Ellen Tauscher offered Turkey to become a
radar center for the Missile Shield program during her visit last
November." Tauscher reportedly told officials in Ankara "Turkey can
be a host for radar and missiles can be stationed in the
neighborhood. In this case, any "first threat" warnings would come
through Turkey." The writer adds, however, that the process
deadlocked when Turkey raised questions regarding locations and
number of radar sites and expressed concern about Iran and Russia's
perceptions.

Jeffrey Calls DTP
In a flashy "First Call from Jeffrey," headline story, Sunday's
mainstream Aksam says, "The US is pleased with the decision of DTP
officials not to resign. Ambassador Jeffrey called DTP leader Ahmet
Turk congratulating him for his party's positive decision."

Copenhagen: The Worst Agreement in History: Leading Turkish Sunday
newspapers labeled the Copenhagen climate conference a failure of
world leaders to cut carbon emissions, provide financial aid to poor
nations, determine temperature caps for the environment, and for not
establishing global climate change government. Mainstream Vatan
(12/20) carried the front page headline, "The Worst Agreement," and
described the meeting as "a historic climate summit, for the extent
of its failure." In "They Pollute and Then They Leave," mainstream
Milliyet (12/20) blamed "the rich nations for being the world's
biggest polluters" and "poor countries are furious over the
nonbinding deal." Mainstream Hurriyet (12/20) headline read "Is The
Summit A Victory or A Fiasco?," noting "while Obama and the world
leaders declared victory, developing countries harshly criticized
the nonbinding agreement." In "Obama is Very Happy," liberal
Radikal highlights "although environmentalists called the summit a
"fiasco," President Obama called the climate change agreement an
'important breakthrough.'"

Foreign Policy on Erdogan's Performance. US-based Foreign Policy
magazine has named Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan as "Rookie of the
Year," noting that Erdogan has "turned his country into a diplomatic
powerhouse after decades of regional marginality."


In the Headlines

Crucifixion Stirs Debate: "Crisis Over Me Stavronis" (Milliyet)
Turkish press gave extensive coverage to Greek Patriarch Bartholomew
CBS "60 Minutes" interview, focusing on the "I feel crucified" and
"like a second class citizen" remarks. FM Davutoglu called
Bartholomew's remarks "unfortunate" adding that he hoped the
comments were "a slip of tongue." Media played up PM Arinc's

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comments that the Patriarch's statement was "humiliating" and
opposition CHP's Onur Oymen call that the remarks were "improper
and unnecessary." NTV quotes a lawyer for the Patriarch that "a
statement will later be issued to clarify Patriarch's remarks."
Meanwhile a story in Milliyet notes that "you crucified me" or "me
stavronis" is a typical expression in Greek society and quotes an
official from the Patriarchate who says the expression was not
against the government. In mainstream Hurriyet, Mehmet Yilmaz has
advice to those criticizing the Patriarch, "don't get upset just
face with mirror" and notes there is a solid basis for minorities to
feel like second-class citizens and that "Turkey should deal with
the problem rather than just reacting." Mainstream, pro-government
HaberTurk's Yigit Bulut has a different approach: "Bartholomew is
giving the wrong information. The closure of Halki seminary was a
result of Patriarch's insistence on disobeying Turkish laws and
claims to treat the seminary with ecumenical status." Similarly
liberal Radikal's Akif Beki finds the CBS interview as "threatening"
and concludes: "by making such statements, the Patriarchate cannot
gain anything positive for his cause."

Turkey-Armenia Normalization
Armenian PM: Karabakh Insistence Will Bring Genocide Precondition
(Hurriyet)
Turkish media gave prominent play to remarks by Armenian leaders
over the weekend that indicated their continuing uneasiness about
Turkey's linking the Karabakh issue with the normalization
protocols. In an interview with mainstream daily Hurriyet, Armenian
PM Tigran Sarkisian said if the Turkish parliament puts Karabakh as
a condition then Armenia will do the same thing on genocide --
bringing "the ongoing process to an end." Tigran also noted that
"during his visit to Washington, PM Erdogan acknowledged that
protocols have no Karabakh precondition. Despite this fact, if
Turkey imposes preconditions on protocol ratification, then Armenia
will be doing the same." Similarly, Armenian Foreign Minister
Nalbandian talked to mainstream Aksam and accused Ankara for
"delaying the process." Nalbandian was quoted as saying, "this
process started as well as was signed with no preconditions. If
Turkey genuinely wants a solution in Karabakh, better not to
interfere. Protocols were sent to parliament but it seems that the
Turkish parliament is sleeping on it." Aksam reports that Armenia
will wait until March 2010 to see if Turkey ratifies without any
conditions and if it doesn't happen, "it will withdraw from the
process completely." In mainstream Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever has a
different approach: "When signing the protocols, Armenian FM knew
very well that Turkish parliament will never ratify it without
seeing a settlement in Karabakh." From now on, the writer foresees
only diplomatic tricks from Armenia: "it is possible that Armenia
deliberately will take no action on Karabakh settlement and wait for
April 24 in order to force Obama to publicly recognize genocide."
Mainstream Milliyet's Kadri Gursel, however, contends that the
"Turkish government made a series of mistakes in this process by
creating a link between normalization and Karabakh." Noting that
Armenian officials have begun talking loudly about Yerevan's
uneasiness, Gursel opines that the US Congress passing a genocide
resolution in 2010 is likely.

Ergenekon Twist: Media continue extensive coverage today of the
weekend death of Lt. Col. Ali Tatar, who allegedly committed suicide
upon being recalled to face Ergenekon investigators. Mainstream
Sabah headlined "Tatar Dies Together with His Secrets" while liberal
Radikal characterizes the news as a "suspicious development."
Turkish TV channels played scenes from the funeral and showcased
family members who charged "witch hunt."


TV Spotlight

- Trilateral meeting continues today in Erbil and Minister Atalay
talks about concrete steps to eliminate PKK's presence for good.

- 3 Parliament Members from former DTP will visit Makhmur Camp in

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Iraq.

- Taraf newspaper hosted a meeting between former DTP members and a
group of opinion makers. The meeting was characterized as "brain
storm" for dealing with the Kurdish issue.

SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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