Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010
Breaking News: All-news broadcaster NTV reported 120 suspects have
been detained in "simultaneous security operations" held early
Friday morning targeting al-Qaeda in 16 provinces including
Istanbul, Malatya, Mersin, Van and Sanliurfa.
How the US is Playing
Vice-President Biden to Iraq Prior to the Elections in March
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that the Iraqi Election Commission
"black list" forbidding 500 pro-Baas names from joining the
elections as candidates which caused unrest in the country was
supported by President Talabani. US Vice President Joseph Biden
will travel to the region in order to find a solution to the
situation, adds Hurriyet.
Clinton's Internet Freedom Speech
NTV calls it a "US - China Verbal Duel" in one of many numerous
on-line articles about the speech. While reporting on the speech,
headlines have focused more on China's response with TRT
highlighting "China Reacts to Clinton's Internet Comments," Haber7
reporting "China Denounced the US Accusations on Internet" and
Milliyet focusing on "China Responds to US Accusations." Mainstream
HaberTurk calls it the "International Google Crisis," and opines
that "the internet giant Google caused a crisis between China and
the US." Secretary Clinton warned there would be consequences for
hackers after a series of cyber attacks on US internet firms,
including search giant Google. HaberTurk notes that in her speech on
internet freedom, Secretary Clinton said "countries or individuals
that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and
Prejudice toward Islam in the US (Sabah)
According to the American polling company Gallup's survey, 43
percent of the Americans are prejudice towards Islam. Mainstream
Sabah also reports that18 percent are prejudiced towards
Christianity, 15 percent towards Judaism and 14 percent towards
Turkey-Armenia. "The US Intervenes in Protocol Crisis" (HaberTurk)
Mainstream HaberTurk reports an upcoming meeting between Secretary
Clinton and FM Davutoglu in London to discuss the problems over
protocols. In a follow up story about the latest on Turkey-Armenia
normalization protocols, HaberTurk reports: "Ankara immediately
contacted Washington and expressed its disappointment regarding the
future phase of protocol process, and asked the US engagement in
this issue. Secretary Clinton is expected to check Yerevan's pulse
and get more details about the Constitutional Court ruling. After
that, Clinton and Davutoglu will have a meeting next week in
In the Headlines
Armenia Warns of Breakdown in Turkey Reconciliation (Hurriyet, CNN
Hurriyet and CNN Turk websites report Friday morning Armenia's
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian warned that historic efforts to
establish ties with Turkey may break down, blaming Ankara for
obstructing the process. "If Turkey is not ready to ratify the
protocols, if it continues to speak in ultimatums, set preconditions
and obstruct the process, then I do not exclude that negotiations
will break down," Nalbandian said at a press conference in Yerevan
Civilian Jurisdiction over Military Personnel Cancelled (Milliyet)
All papers and TV channels report that the Constitutional Court
unanimously cancelled a law allowing trial of military personnel at
civilian courts. The Constitutional Court rejected the arrangement
which was passed by AKP government on June 26, 2009 making an
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amendment to article 250 of the Law of Criminal Procedure. With
this annulment, many cases from Ergenekon to Cosmic Room, will be
transferred to military courts, Milliyet notes.
'Sledgehammer' Allegations: "Military Denied, Prosecutor Intervened"
Turkish General Staff (TGS) issued a statement yesterday denying the
leftist Taraf newspaper's claims that under the Balyoz
(Sledgehammer) operation, a coup atmosphere was planned by attacks
on mosques, and said that "such allegations would serve those who
are trying to escalate tension in the society." The TGS stressed in
the statement that the mentioned plan-seminar was included in the
General Staff's concerted maneuvers for the years of 2003-2006.
Hurriyet and Cumhuriyet report that Istanbul prosecutors launched an
investigation regarding the documents delivered by Taraf.
Editorials on 'Sledgehammer Plan'
Pundits across the board agree on the negative impacts of
"Sledgehammer Plan" and find the TGS statement "unsatisfactory."
Sedat Ergin in mainstream Hurriyet calls it "shameful if it is all
true" while Fikret Bila of mainstream Milliyet expresses
disappointment: "TGS statement should have been more explicit and
more satisfactory." Similarly, Islamist Zaman's Mustafa Unal calls
the TGS statement "weak" and advises that "General Basbug should
start an image-restoration plan and implement it immediately."
Questioning military's overall responsibilities, Islamist Yeni
Safak's Fehmi Koru wonders: "How come the military designs war-game
plans by creating internal enemies instead of focusing on external
threats? In its statement, the military tried to clarify this
argument but it was an explanation which needed to be explained."
Mainstream Vatan's Gungor Mengi also calls the army "to be proactive
instead of defensive" and he finds the TGS statement unsatisfactory.
Murat Yetkin in liberal Radikal brings up another dimension to the
debate by saying: "This is the time to discuss and redefine the
military's role and responsibilities including the protection of the
Haiti. "Happiness After the Miracle" (Radikal)
Liberal Radikal is one of the few papers still giving prominent
coverage to the Haiti story while highlighting the rescue after 7
days of a 5 year old child on its front page. In "The Name of the
Miracle: AKUT," mainstream Milliyet gives credit to Turkish search
and rescue team, AKUT, which pulled a woman alive from under the
rubble of a supermarket seven days after the Haiti earthquake.
Milliyet reports that "AKUT was working together with French and
Haitian teams when they pulled 24 year old woman alive who was
trapped under rubble." Liberal Radikal notes, "Turkish teams rescued
six Haitians in nine days." Other small inside articles carry
warnings about children's situation with leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet in "Orphans May End Up At the Hands of Human
Traffickers," carrying the statement that "UNICEF is concerned about
the safety of the Haiti's orphans and says, they are also targets of
kidnappers and sex traffickers." Mainstream Milliyet carries a
small story reporting that the "US is sending more troops and will
increase the number of US troops in Haiti to around 16,000." While
noting in the same article that "Venezuela and Bolivia harshly
criticize the US of 'stacking' troops in the quake hit country,"
Milliyet's focus is on the rescues and the reports that were so
prominent 2 days ago are now mere references.
Gul: "We Cannot Sweep Problems under the Carpet" (Sabah)
Papers report President Gul delivered a speech at a gathering of the
Ankara Chamber of Industry. Gul said "stability" does not mean
"authoritarian rule." He said he took pride in the "deepening
democracy" in Turkey, stressing Turkey still had some distance to
cover. "What we went through 20-30 years ago is still fresh in
everyone's memories," emphasized Gul, and called on everyone,
including the political parties, to adopt "constructive" positions.
Businesswoman Boyner Elected to Lead TUSIAD
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Media outlets report Turkey's leading business organization TUSIAD
Thursday elected a businesswoman, Umit Boyner, as its new chairman.
Boyner told TUSIAD members in Istanbul of the group's determination
to pursue full EU membership for Turkey. Boyner emphasized TUSIAD
supports "full democratization," saying Turkey did not want to be
governed by a "Coup d'etat Constitution" anymore. She also called
for the annulment of the 10 percent election threshold. "We wish to
strengthen our democracy and elevate our wealth level," said Boyner.
Poll: AKP Votes below 30 Percent (Cumhuriyet)
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet carries a survey held by Sonar
company, conducted in 15 provinces from January 3-13 with
"face-to-face" interviews with 3,000 respondents. If parliamentary
elections were held today, the distribution of votes would be as
follows: AKP 29.50 percent, CHP 27.11, MHP 20.41, and BDP 6.28.
Sonar said for the first time, the ruling AKP has fallen below 30
percent, and stressed a "coalition government" without the AKP would
TV Spotlight (CNN Turk)
Police have detained around 60 suspects in operations in the
provinces of Istanbul, Van Batman and Diyarbakir over accusations of
membership and aiding of the PKK.
Former state tobacco and liquor monopoly Tekel workers gave a hiatus
to their hunger strike for three days.
The Turkish Parliament approved Thursday a bill stipulating
full-time employment of doctors working in state hospitals, ending
their right to work in private clinics.
On January 25, President Gul will bring together the presidents of
Afghanistan and Pakistan in Istanbul.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh will visit Ankara on Friday
to meet his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.
Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek has announced the government
adopted a four-year action plan for fighting corruption.
UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon will visit Cyprus on February 2.
Former British foreign secretary Jack Straw has testified before the
Iraq inquiry set up to investigate Britain's role in the US-led
Turkish Airlines (THY) has signed a sponsorship agreement with
British soccer club Manchester United, weeks after signing a similar
contract with Spain's Barcelona.