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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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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, JANUARY 25, 2010

Media Highlights:

How the US is Playing

The US/Turkey-Armenia. "The US Happy with Armenian Court Decision
on Protocols" (Taraf); "Armenia: US is on Our Side" (Hurriyet)
Online reports as well as mainstream Hurriyet and Milliyet carry a
follow up story on Turkey-Armenia normalization following Ankara's
uneasiness about Armenian Constitutional Court ruling about process.
Hurriyet cites Novosti Armenia wire service that A/S Phil Gordon
said the "Armenian court's decision does not have anything to
prevent protocols from ratification process." Leftist Taraf reports
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon told Radio Liberty that
unlike Ankara, the US "welcomed" the Armenian Constitutional Court
decision on the protocols with Turkey. "We see the Armenian court
decision as a positive step in the ratification process of the
protocols envisaging a settlement between Turkey and Armenia. The
court decision allows for the parliamentary ratification of the
protocols approved by both governments. The court decision in no
way gives the impression it restricts or legally binds the
protocols," said Gordon.

Editorials on Turkey-Armenia/The US
Pundits urge the Turkish government not to hesitate on moving
forward with the ratification process and mention that Washington
"considers recent uneasiness in Ankara as creating excuses." In
"Crisis Foretold" mainstream Sabah's Omer Taspinar warns against an
upcoming serious crisis with Washington: "Washington believes that
Turkey is using the Armenian court decision as a pretext not to
process the ratification. A high level American diplomat says that
the ball is in Ankara's courtyard. In addition to that, the
Armenian lobby in the US is very active and eager. The Jewish lobby
on the other hand is furious about Turkey. Bearing in mind all of
these factors, Ankara better be prepared for an upcoming April 24
genocide resolution crisis with Washington." Mainstream Milliyet's
Semih Idiz observes "insincerity" in both Armenia and Turkey: "There
is a lack of will as well as insincerity about the realization of
protocol process. Each capital is trying to send the ball to each
other in order to avoid responsibility. The normalization process
cannot go anywhere as long as this insincere attitude and the lack
of will continues." Liberal Radikal's Ceyda Karan has some advice:
"Ankara should be proactive and should take steps toward concluding
the ratification process. By doing that Ankara will really force
Armenia to act responsibly."

New Bin Laden Tape. In "Bin Laden's New 9/11 Threat," liberal
Radikal warns that "Osama bin Laden hailed Dec 25 airline bomb plot
and threatened new upcoming attacks -like 9/11- against the US in an
audio message broadcast by al-Jazeera." Radikal highlights Bin
Laden's statement that the "US will never be safe unless Palestine
is safe." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet's headline reads, "Bin
Laden's New Message," and says, "Al-Qaeda leader claimed
responsibility for the attack on Dec 25 Amsterdam-Detroit flight in
a new audiotape broadcasted by Al Jazeera. Bin Laden said the
attack was a message just like 9/11." In "Female Suicide Bombers
Coming," mainstream Milliyet sounds an alert that "Bin Laden
threatens more attacks, female suicide bombers who look like Western
women are being prepared to carry out similar attacks. Islamist
oriented Yeni Safak in "I've Sent Hero Omar," says "Bin Laden took
responsibility for the Christmas attack and said that the bombing
attempt was a heroic act." Yeni Safak quotes Bin Laden as saying:
"if it was possible to send our messages by words, we wouldn't have
sent them by planes."

NSC Hammer: The US Want to Deepen Turkey-the US Strategic
Partnership (Taraf)
Leftist Taraf carries a VOA report which says the US National
Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer told reporters at the Foreign
Press Center in Washington President Obama appreciated the
importance of the Turkish-American strategic partnership. Hammer
said the US wanted to "deepen" its strategic partnership with

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Turkey, and that more progress would be seen over the course of this
year. Hammer noted although differences of opinion were possible,
there was no strain in ties between Turkey and the US, which have
been "excellent." Hammer also stressed Turkey and the US had been
in close cooperation over the reestablishment of ties between Turkey
and Armenia, reports Taraf.

Secretary's Internet Speech: "Clinton Wants Informers" (HaberTurk)
Columnist Ayse Ozek Karasu commented about Secretary Clinton's
recent speech on internet freedom in mainstream daily HaberTurk
(1/24): "Secretary Clinton's speech came after China's treatment of
'google' and she clearly indicated internet freedom as major foreign
policy indicator for the United States. It paves the way for the US
to open a new freedom page all over the world based on the level of
internet freedom. Secretary Clinton asked for denunciation of
countries which limit free access of information. As seeing her
very sensitive about internet freedom, I'd like to put myself in an
informer position as well: Turkish courts are very leisurely
blocking internet access, and YouTube is still banned." Mainstream
Hurriyet and Islamist-oriented Zaman both reported the story of Ms.
Ceren Kenar of the NGO "Young Civilians" who attended Secretary
Clinton's Internet Freedom speech on January 21 and after the speech
posed for a photo with the Secretary holding a placard that read
"Release YouTube."


In the Headlines

Erdogan: Civilian Dictatorship Has Ended with Us (Yeni Safak)
Media outlets report Monday on Prime Minister Erdogan's address
Sunday to supporters in the province of Sakarya. "They will create
chaos and treachery scenarios, but we will emphasize democracy and
national unity. We will not allow the realization of these illegal
plans," said Erdogan, and challenged the military and supporters of
alleged coup plans, referring to ongoing discussions about the
alleged "Sledgehammer" coup plan recently reported by daily Taraf.
"Look at the recent developments in the newspapers. You can't be on
the side of different searches. Do you want a coup or democracy?"
asked Erdogan. Erdogan said his government was fighting for the
civilianization of Turkey.

In an exclusive interview with Monday's Milliyet, opposition CHP
leader Deniz Baykal said the AKP was posing a "serious threat" to
democracy and Turkey's national integrity. Baykal said the best way
to overcome the AK Party would be "people's votes." "I haven't felt
the threat of a military takeover over the past eight years. I
cannot imagine the Turkish military planning to bomb mosques or down
a fighter jet of our own," emphasized Baykal. The CHP leader also
said if he saw the allegations as firm, the PM should remove from
office the chief of the military General Staff (TGS) or the force
commanders.

Turkey Will Train Afghan Military and Police (Sabah)
Mainstream Sabah reports that Prime Minister Erdogan met with
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zerdari in Istanbul yesterday. During Erdogan's meeting with
Karzai, it was decided that Turkey will train Afghan police and
military in 500 people groups, in Turkey and Afghanistan, for three
month periods. Following the meeting between the three countries'
education ministers, a joint declaration was released saying that
cooperation on education between the three countries will be
increased and the books highlighting the historic ties between the
three countries, will be translated in all three languages. PM
Erdogan will go to Afghanistan in the spring to attend the opening
ceremonies of 68 schools constructed by Turkish Cooperation and
Development Agency (TIKA). The declaration also highlighted the
necessity of the projects to educate the female population and their
social transformation. Meanwhile, today President Gul will host a
three-party meeting with the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to
focus on the countering terrorism issues. This will be the fourth
meeting in the process of tripartite meetings initiated in 2007,

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Sabah notes. President Gul will host the "Friendship and
Cooperation Summit in Asia's Heart" summit for Afghanistan's
neighbors on Tuesday.

Turkish and British Police Seize 159 Kg. of Heroin (Hurriyet)
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that on January 20, Turkish and British
police launched simultaneous operations in Manchester, Istanbul and
Mersin. During the operations in Manchester 159 kg heroin were
seized and six people were detained. Another five suspects were
detained during the operations in Istanbul and Mersin.

Ahmadinejad is in Preparation for Nuclear Surprise (Milliyet)
Following his speech on next year's budget bill at the parliament,
Iranian President Ahmadinejad, referring to the period marking the
1979 Islamic revolution, said "regarding nuclear energy activities,
we have news to make Iranians and other free nations happy. During
'the ten days of dawn' we will announce good news regarding the
production of 20 percent enriched fuel in our country."

Poll: 'Confidence in Military' at Lowest Level (Taraf)
Leftist Taraf carries a public opinion survey conducted by the
prestigious A&G polling company. If general elections were held
today, the distribution of the votes would be as follows: AKP 32
percent, CHP 21, MHP 19, BDP (DTP) 7, and SP 5. The survey shows
that the "confidence in military," which has always been around 90
percent, has eroded to 63,4 percent over recent coup and conspiracy
allegations. It also says the ruling AKP votes was 38,4 percent in
2009 local elections." The poll was conducted on December 26-27 and
in the first week of January.

TV Spotlight (CNN Turk)

MP Mevlut Cavusoglu from AKP has been given the post of the
president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(PACE).

Mehmet Nuri Gunes, the Kurdish BDP Mayor of Igdir and seven party
officials have been arrested on charges of membership to the PKK.

The Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz will travel to Davos
to participate in the World Economic Forum meetings.

Leading Turkish businessman and cultural benefactor, Sakir
Eczacibasi, passed away over the weekend at the age of 81.

Life in Istanbul is paralyzed by heavy snowfall. Intense snowfall
affects most of Turkey.

Twin sisters have committed suicide in Diyarbakir when one of them
is forced to marry a relative.

Prime Minister Erdogan phoned his British counterpart Gordon Brown,
expressing his disappointment with a British court ruling against a
British couple that built a holiday home in Turkish Cyprus.

Genel Enerji, a company owned by Cukurova Group head Mehmet Emin
Karamehmet, has built an oil refinery in Iraq's Kurdish region.
Karamehmet's company needs USD 510 million of loan for the refinery.


The government statistics agency said Monday Turkey's population in
2009 had been 72.6 million, an increase of 1.5 percent from the year
before.

A plane carrying 170 people in Iran caught fire on landing, injuring
about 46 passengers.

Afghanistan elections, scheduled for May 22, had been put off to
September 18 due to lack of funds and security concerns.
Afghanistan needs USD 120 million in order to hold elections.


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JEFFREY

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