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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2010

Media Highlights: Barzani in USA Supports Democratic Initiative; New
Claims of US Ergenekon Ties; Obama "Doesn't Quit;" US Appropriates
Climate; Camp Makhmur Discussions; New Tensions in Turkey-Armenia
Protocols; Afghan London Conference More Carrot Than Stick; Arab
League to Open Representation in Ankara; TV Spotlight

US Embassy Ankara - Turkey Media Reaction - January 29, 2010 as
prepared by the Public Affairs Information Office

How the US is Playing

Barzani in USA: Supports Turkey's 'Democratic Initiative' (Sabah)
Pro-government Turkish media play up reports that Iraqi Kurdish
leader Massoud Barzani voiced support for the GOT's democratic
initiative in a speech at the Brookings Institute on 1/28. In "I
Won't Support Military Operations against the PKK," Taraf reports
Barzani said in response to a question that "the Iraqi Kurds would
not be part of a military solution effort against the PKK." Today's
Zaman, like Sabah, headlines "Barzani Urges Turkey's Kurds to
Support Government Initiative" and reports that Barzani expressed
"strong support" for resolving the Kurdish issue through peaceful
means, and stated "We have all been convinced that military means or
political pressures never bring solutions, but if this option is
preferred we will not be a part of it." In addition, Today's Zaman
says Barzani claimed Turkey no longer perceived the regional
administration in northern Iraq as a threat against itself. Sabah
and NTVMSNBC report that Barzani also noted the Turkish
Constitutional Court's ruling for closing the pro-Kurdish DTP was
"not appropriate." Today's Zaman opines that Barzani's talks with
President Obama and Secretary Clinton came ahead of key
parliamentary elections to be held in Iraq in March. Reports on the
speech were also included on the semi official Anatolian News
Agency, NTV, as well as the Turkish service of VOA.

New Claims for US Involvement in 'Ergenekon' (Aksam)
Mainstream Aksam gives front-page coverage to fresh allegations of
US involvement in the Ergenekon network. The paper says that two of
the suspects mentioned in the 'Poyrazkoy' indictment were
interrogated for possible links with Americans. According to the
indictment, Rescue and Submarine Commander Colonel Orhan Yucel
interrogated Lt. Col. Ercan Kirectepe and Major Eren Gunay in
connection with the charges that they took weapons from Americans
and buried them. The indictment charges Kirectepe and Gunay with
membership in the Ergenekon network, which have attempted to
dissolve the parliament. Aksam reports that a vehicle "belonging to
the US Istanbul Consulate" allegedly entered the military
'Poyrazkoy' zone, with someone in the car taking photographs.

Obama Doesn't Quit
Turkish media highlight President Obama's first State of the Union
address and emphasize that "he won't quit on pushing his agenda."
Liberal Radikal headlines "People are Jobless and Suffering,
Decreasing Unemployment is Our Main Priority," and says "Obama
declared jobs must be the number one focus in 2010." In "Barack
Obama: Increasing Employment Will Be Our Priority," mainstream
Milliyet notes "Obama emphasized employment has to be the main
priority" and that "he'll hang tough on health care reform."
Mainstream Hurriyet headlines "Obama Tells People of Immense Debts
and Says Main Goal Are Jobs," and opines, "stressing he won't quit,
Obama promised to increase employment." In "He Seeks Support of
Republicans for Unemployment," leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet says
"Obama asked Republicans for their support to work together on
employment issues." Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah in "World Leader
Obama 'Forgets' the World This Time" focuses on the "content of the
speech" saying "Obama mainly touched on the domestic agenda
including the US economy, and almost forgot foreign policy in his
first State of the Union speech."

US-Turkey-Iraq to Discuss Camp Makhmur (Yeni Safak)
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports the US-Turkey-Iraq "three-party
mechanism" will meet in Ankara on February 3 to discuss the

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evacuation of Camp Makhmur as well as the PKK members expected to
come down from the mountains, the infiltration of terrorists from
northern Iraq, and drugs and arms trafficking.

US Appropriates Copenhagen Climate Accord (CNN Turk online)
CNN Turk online reports the US has "appropriated" the Copenhagen
Climate Accord which has set "non-binding goals with regard to
reducing green gas emissions." Todd Stern, the Obama
Administration's chief climate negotiator, said the US would target
reducing carbon dioxide and other gas emissions by 17 percent until
2020.

In the Headlines

Turkey-Armenia Protocols Enter Difficult Phase (Radikal)
Media continue their in-depth coverage of the "protocol
disagreement" between Ankara and Yerevan with headlines such as
"Armenia Drafts Bill to Withdraw Protocols," (Hurriyet), "Yerevan
Puts Another Blockade on Protocols Process" (Yeni Safak), and
"Armenia Pushes the Button to Withdraw Protocols," (Aksam). Media
report that the Armenian presidential advisor Vigen Sargsyan told
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that a bill which would authorize the
Armenian President withdrawing his signature from the "normalization
protocols" with Turkey is being readied. Turkish papers underscore
that the Armenian Constitutional Court had earlier linked the
implementation of the protocols to the recognition of Armenian
'genocide' claims. In "Washington Distanced to Ankara's Protocol
Concerns," Zaman reports Foreign Minister Davutoglu conveyed
Turkey's uneasiness to Secretary Clinton during a brief meeting on
the sidelines of the Afghanistan conference in London, and comments
that Washington believes Turkey should not pay too much attention to
the Armenian court's justification.

In "High Armenia Tension in London," mainstream Hurriyet says
yesterday's heavy diplomatic traffic among Turkey, Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Russia in London failed to defuse the tensions
between Ankara and Yerevan. The paper reports that FM Davutoglu
told FM Nalbandian that the Armenian Constitutional Court decision
was against the spirit of the protocols and demanded guarantees that
Armenia would abide by the blueprint. Nalbandian reportedly said
the court decision was not contradicting the protocols. The two
ministers, however, agreed to discuss the issue again at a security
conference to be held in Munich next month, says Hurriyet.

Commentaries on Turkey-Armenia
Sami Kohen of mainstream Milliyet advises a comprehensive win-win
approach on the protocol process and does not quite agree with
"Armenia will suffer more if the protocols are put on shelf"
argument: "Not only Armenia, Turkey also will face problems in
international platforms. Additionally the issue itself will
continue to become one of the key factors before the advancement of
Turkish-American ties. Therefore, we should think about the
benefits for both sides when the protocols are fully ratified."
Erdal Safak of pro-government/mainstream Sabah thinks a bit
differently: "Armenia is trying to kill the protocols. Unless
Armenia is put international pressure on the Karabakh issue and
until a result is achieved, there seems no way to see protocol
ratification." Ferai Tinc in mainstream Hurriyet calls the
protocols "at stake" but notes that responsibility is distributed
among Turkey and Armenia: "Turkey put out a clear Karabakh condition
while Armenia tried to insert a genocide interpretation. There were
efforts on both sides to force an impasse on protocol ratification.
Given Yerevan's latest try to undo the signature, realization of the
protocols is headed toward an impossible end."

Afghanistan London Conference: Carrot and Sticks
In "Carrot Instead of Stick" mainstream Sabah reports that the
international committee, which had previously been "collecting
soldiers against the Taliban," this time met in London to collect
money to convince the Taliban "to lay down their arms." In
"Conditional Support for the Taliban," Islamist-oriented Zaman, as

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well as Sabah, notes that by day's end only $140 million had been
collected out of a targeted $500 million. Meanwhile, mainstream
Milliyet headlines "Karzai Invites Taliban to Parliament" and
reports that the Afghan Government plans to invite Taliban members
to the "Loya Jirga" assembly to discuss the reintegration plan. In
a related story, under the headline "Ankara is Playing a Unique
Role" Sabah reports that State Department spokesman Philip Crowley
praised Turkey "as a key member of NATO and ISAF, Turkey plays a
unique and important role in Afghanistan." All media prominently
report that Afghan President Karzai in opening remarks thanked
Turkey for hosting an Afghan-Pakistan conference in Istanbul and
urged Saudi Arabia to increase their contribution for Afghanistan
projects.

Arab League to Open Representation in Ankara (Zaman)
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports following a recent acceleration of
ties with Turkey, the Arab League has decided to open a
representation office in Ankara. Moroccan diplomat Muhammad Fatih
al-Nasiri has been appointed to head the office, which is expected
to open next week in Ankara.

TV Spotlight (CNN Turk)

Prime Minister Erdogan met Thursday with labor union Turk-Is to
discuss the problems of workers who have been on strike for 46 days
in protest of the privatization of former state tobacco and liquor
monopoly Tekel.

On January 29-30, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov will visit
Turkey for talks with President Gul and PM Erdogan.

Prime Minister Erdogan will deliver his monthly address to the
nation in a televised speech Friday evening.

NATO defense ministers will meet in Istanbul on February 4-5.

President Gul will visit India and Bangladesh from February 7-13.

A draft bill for the establishment of Human Rights Institution has
been submitted to the parliament for approval.

The IMF's First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky said they were
holding productive talks with Turkey.

Greek PM Papandreou said it was time to seek better ties with Turkey
and other neighbors.

The UN Disaster Risk Reduction said the situation in Haiti would
deteriorate when storms season starts in May.

Denmark said Thursday it would limit the use in public of the burka
and veils worn by some Muslim women, but stopped short of
introducing a law banning the garments.

JEFFREY

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