Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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Media Highlights

US Embassy Ankara - Turkey Media Reaction - January 27, 2010 as
prepared by the Public Affairs Information Office

In the Headlines

Taliban Opening From Karzai (Yeni Safak)
On the eve of the London conference, Turkish media focus in on
remarks of President Gul and Afghan President Karzai at a joint
press conference held 1/26 after the Istanbul Summit for
Afghanistan's Neighbors. Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak headlines
"Taliban Opening from Karzai," and, like all Turkish media, gives
prominent play to President Karzai's remarks on reintegration:
"Taliban who are not part of terrorist networks or Al-Qaeda are the
sons of the Afghan soil and they all should be reintegrated." In
"The Economy is the Priority," intellectual Islamist Zaman noted
Turkey's $200 million pledge for reconstruction in Afghanistan and
highlights President Gul's remarks saying that "It is necessary to
give Afghanistan economic support and strong support for their
development approach." President Gul reiterated his comments on
Afghanistan issue by saying "It is not possible to resolve the
issues by only military means. It is necessary to gain the hearts
of Afghan people." Mainstream Hurriyet headlines "Combat Troop
Message from Gul to Obama" and quotes the Turkish president as:
"Military measures are not sufficient to establish peace and
stability in Afghanistan. President Karzai doesn't want the
children of the other countries to die for Afghanistan." Media also
play up Karzai's remarks, in response to a reporter's question,
regarding US Ambassador to Afghanistan's comment that the Karzai
Administration is an "insufficient strategic partner." In "Karzai
Upset with Washington," mainstream Milliyet says Karzai responded by
saying "if the partnership defined here is as bowing to US will,
then, he is right, we will never be a sufficient partner for the US.
The US is the richest country; we are the poorest country. A
strategic partnership, however, is a cooperation mechanism between
two sovereign countries." A statement released after the meeting by
the participants emphasized: "We support the Afghan national process
of reconciliation and reintegration in accordance with the
Constitution of Afghanistan in a way that is Afghan-led and
-driven." Turkish media report that the regional summit was
attended by Afghan President Karzai, his counterparts from Pakistan
and Turkey and senior officials from Iran, China, Tajikistan,
Russia, Krygystan, the UAE and the UK.

In "Taliban Opening" Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen observes a
general consensus over "finding a political solution to the
Afghanistan problem." He notes that Turkey thinks the same, and he
concludes: "Karzai's plan requires both internal efforts and strong
international contribution to end the war in Afghanistan through
social and political measures. If this strategy becomes successful,
it will also set a model in finding methods to terminate terrorism

Asli Aydintasbas of Milliyet carried excerpts from her interview
with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who is in Istanbul for
the Afghan conference. Commenting on current political debates in
Turkey about alleged coup plans, Miliband praised Turkey's strong
commitment to democracy. Regarding Afghanistan, Miliband emphasized
the importance of efforts to find a political solution "by gaining
rebels and put them back into the societal life." According to
Milliyet, Miliband said the following: "On this issue, the purpose
is not to establish another Taliban government. The purpose is to
regain the rebels in a comprehensive integration process based on
the Afghan constitution. We want to see a strong Afghanistan,
strong enough to be able to defend itself. Rebels should be able to
express their problems through political system and there has to a
separation between them and supporters of Al Qaeda."

Reacting to a report about "Karzai being upset with Washington," a
blogger commented in mainstream Milliyet's website: "What kind of

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leadership is this? A genuine leader will never allow a foreign
troop in his country and will not facilitate the killing of people
in the first place. Can Berk."

How the US is Playing

Praise for US in Haiti: In "Another Miracle in Haiti," NTV praises
US soldiers rescuing a man who had been buried in rubble for two
weeks. Mainstream Hurriyet calls it "14th Day, A Miracle Again,"
and highlights "Rico Dibrivell, 35, had been trapped since the Jan.
12 earthquake, he was pulled from the rubble by the US soldiers."
Meanwhile mainstream Sabah in "UN, EU Calls for Caution," expresses
UN and EU concern over "the safety of thousands of orphans after
Western nations began speeding up adoption procedures in the wake of
the Haiti earthquake. " Sabah emphasizes "Haitian orphans are at
risk of child traffickers. During chaotic times with many
international groups, planes, supplies moving in and out of the
airport and borders, there is a greater opportunity for human
trafficking." Mainstream Milliyet headlines "They Kidnap Haitian
Orphans and Make Them Slaves," and believes that "Haitian orphans
are being trafficked out of the country to be used as slaves,
beggars and prostitutes." Liberal Radikal gives the same message
with the headline "Children's Lives Should Be Saved, Not Darkened."

Ambassador Jeffrey: Turkey - the US Can Raise Trade Three-Fold
Wire agencies and dailies' websites report that in Istanbul
yesterday evening, Ambassador Jeffrey joined a dinner held on the
occasion of the sixth anniversary of the establishment of the
American Business Forum in Turkey (ABFT). Ambassador Jeffrey said
Turkey was a "great market for the US," and noted the two countries
had around USD 15 billion of trade volume. "This figure could be
raised by three-fold in a few years," the Ambassador reportedly

Crowley: Armenian Court Decision a Forward Step
Mainstream Hurriyet reports State Department Spokesman Philip
Crowley issued a statement which said the Armenian Constitutional
Court decision was a "forward step" in the process for the
ratification of the normalization protocols signed between Turkey
and Armenia. The English-language daily Today's Zaman comments,
"Following the Armenian Constitutional Court's January 12 decision
which found the protocols in conformity with the Armenian
Constitution, the Turkish side has been uneasy over the court's
detailed reasoning for the decision."

The US Interpretation of Armenian Court Decision Surprises Ankara
In a news commentary, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports
Assistant Secretary Philip Gordon's remarks earlier this week, which
interpreted the Armenian Constitutional Court decision on
"normalization protocols" with Turkey as a "positive step" in the
ratification process, made Ankara adopt a "wait-and-see" policy on
the matter. In "The US Interpretation of Armenian Court Decision
Surprises Ankara," Cumhuriyet says FM Davutoglu would meet Secretary
Clinton at the Afghanistan conference in London today and ask the US
to intervene on the Armenian decision. Ankara is also in contact
with Switzerland over the issue according to Cumhuriyet. Mainstream
Haberturk says Ankara is now waiting to see to what extent the
Armenian court decision would "bind" the protocols and whether this
decision would be "annexed" to the protocols during the voting in
the Armenian Parliament. Haberturk also says Ankara is preparing a
letter to send to the related countries which would stress that the
Armenian court's decision risks the protocols not being enacted.

"Old Armenian Map" Crisis at Washington Seminar
Papers report a "historical" map of Armenia drew the reaction of
Turks during a seminar held by George Washington University Law
School, on "Turkey-Armenia: Protocols, Realities and Myths." An
official from Turkey's Washington Embassy objected to an "old" map
of Armenia used in the power point representation, which reportedly
showed parts of Turkish land as Armenian land. Conference

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organizers apologized, saying they found the map on Google, says

Editorial Commentary on Turkey-Armenia-the US
Soli Ozel in mainstream HaberTurk reported comments from a high
level Turkish Foreign Ministry official who expressed concern over
the Armenian court's ruling and underlined Ankara's expectation to
see a clarification from Washington: "Despite Washington's
statement on the court ruling, the MFA official still believes that
Armenia is trying to put its internal legal interpretation above an
international agreement. Turkey at this point waits for a written
statement both from the US and from Switzerland which has to
guarantee that protocol provisions will not be affected by the
Armenian Court's ruling." On the other hand, the columnist thinks
that Turkey can be left alone regarding its created linkage between
the protocols and the Karabakh solution process.

Obama Will Meet 150 Muslim Entrepreneurs, Five From Turkey
Hurriyet reports that a global initiative launched by President
Obama in Cairo on June 2009, will get underway in Washington on
April 26-27. The paper reports that five Turkish entrepreneurs
reflecting diverse businesses from food delivery to high tech have
been selected to participate in the US Presidential Summit on

Other Stories:

Appathurai: No NATO member Can Play Turkey's Role in Afghanistan
NATO spokesman James Appathurai has announced that the main topics
of discussion at an upcoming informal gathering of defense ministers
will be solution proposals for the situation in Afghanistan and an
increase in NATO financial resources. Speaking at a press
conference on Monday, he said the meeting will take place on Feb.
4-5 in Istanbul. He also stressed the significant role Turkey is
playing in Afghanistan in both the political and military fields.
"No NATO member can play the role Turkey has in Afghanistan --
especially not its political role," he said. Discussing the purpose
of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) presence in
Afghanistan, he said the ISAF's aim is not to find al-Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden but to ensure the security of NATO members by
helping Afghans provide their own security. Unlike American forces
in the country, NATO has never taken any direct steps to capture the
leader of al-Qaeda because NATO's goal is to provide security and
reconstruct Afghanistan to ensure the security of NATO members, he

FM Davutoglu: "Criticizing Israel is not Anti-Semitism" (Vatan,
Mainstream Vatan and Sabah report that responding to Israeli Foreign
Ministry report accusing PM Erdogan of fueling anti-Semitism with
his criticism of Israel, FM Davutoglu said "There was never ever
anti-Semitism in Turkey's history, and will never be. We can never
tolerate any kind of anti-Semitism or racism. Criticizing Israel is
not anti-Semitism." Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry statement
referred to the UN recognition of January 27 as the Commemoration of
the Jewish Genocide Victims, and said " we remember our diplomats
with respect and honor, who sacrificed their own security and lives
in order to protect the Jews from the Nazis during the second world

TRT to Launch Arabic Broadcasts in February
Mainstream Aksam reports Turkey's state-run broadcaster TRT will
launch in February TRT Seba (Sheba), a new television channel in
Arabic. Arab heads of state were invited to the opening. TRT has
transferred 20 Arabic-speaking personnel from Egypt, Palestine,
Tunisia and Algeria for the satellite broadcasts to cover the Middle
East and the Arabian Peninsula. TRT Seba will reportedly be a
"family channel" with music, news, movies, children's programs and

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Newspaper Bloggers on Turkey-Israel Ties

Guest - hornblower (2010-01-26 20:47:09) :
I have many Jewish friends having grown up in New Jersey.
Nonetheless I find Israel's actions at times alarming. I have many
Iranians friends having visited Iran twice. Nonetheless I find the
actions of Iran at times alarming. The point is clear, we need to
remind ourselves and the people around us that our reactions and
feeling to the actions of a state are not to be transferred to
individuals. I don't see Erdogan hating Jews but rather questioning
the actions of a Jewish state. Maybe I'm wrong. Love your neighbor
as yourself. Love your enemies and bless those who persecute you.

Guest - wolf (2010-01-26 17:57:55) :
I do not see it as a problem that Erdogan is critizising Israel for
the Gaza issue. Any country should condemn violence. But the problem
occurs that Erdogan is very inconsistently ONLY CONDEMNS ISRAEL. If
Erdogan wants to condemns violence, how can he then at the same time
invite genociders? And how can he be best buddy with Iran, a
notorious human rights and democracy violator? Or Syria? And how
about Hamaz (labeled a terror organization)? Or the Talibans or Al
Quaida, why are they not condemned? Why is he not condemning those
cases which are far worse? That is the problem and to which we can
see no justifiable answer.

Guest - Rich (2010-01-26 15:23:19) :
It doesn't take an Israeli Government report to tell us what we all
believe. Whether or not PM Erdogan is a anti-Semite or not- he has
created the environment which has unleashed anti-Semitism in Turkey.
If all someone can talk about is Israeli actions in Gaza- in the
face of a world full of violence- one has to question the motive of
the speaker. It is not a conclusion Jews or Israelis or Westerners
are happy to reach. It is however obvious. We are all convinced ties
will not improve while PM Erdogan is in power and so we must
patiently wait for Turkish democracy to create a better environment.
One should also consider Erdogan's fan club- so many who come from
the Jew hating world- Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, Sudan, etc.

Guest - Murat (2010-01-26 15:02:49) :
Since PM has been careful to focus his comments solely on Israel's
policy in Gaza, then it is fair to say that Israel's own policies in
the region are fueling anti-semitisim. Now that is a credible claim.
Erdogan's statements are in effect no different than what UN or EU
have said on the same topic. Problem is not Erdogan or AKP but it is

TV Spotlight (CNN Turk)

Ambassador Huseyin Dirioz, currently a presidential foreign policy
adviser, is likely to be given the post of NATO Deputy Secretary

Kurdish BDP group chief Nuri Akman accused the government of seeking
revenge by arresting the mayors of cities where the AK Party
suffered defeat in the municipality elections.

On January 28, Prime Minister Erdogan will hold a meeting with the
"Tekel" workers on strike.

Opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal likens the allegations for
military coup to a "soap opera."

Prime Minister Erdogan said Greek PM Papandreou's response to his
letter "inspired hopes" for the settlement of problems in the

A delegation from the European Committee for the Prevention of
Torture has paid a visit to Imrali Island to examine the prison
conditions of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

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The residents of Aleppo celebrate the execution of Ali Hassan
al-Majid, known as Chemical Ali, who was sentenced to death for
ordering the gassing of 5,000 Kurds in 1988.

French lawmakers recommend a partial ban on any veils including the
burqa that cover the face.

Israeli Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein said Israel
told the UN chief it will not conduct an independent probe of the
Gaza war as demanded by a UN report.

German magazine Der Spiegel says Iran is serious about developing a
nuclear bomb and has the ability to produce a primitive version of
the bomb this year.


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