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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
WEDNESDAY, January 01, 2010

Media Highlights: Airport Security and Yemen; FT: Turkey Turns its
Back; Turkey-US-Iran Nuclear Diplomacy; Double Agent Traps CIA;
Editorial on Turkish Foreign Policy; Tehran Blacklists Western
Organizations; Bullets in the Mail to Judge; FM Davutoglu on
Bulgarian Compensation Demands; TV Spotlight

US Embassy Ankara - Turkey Media Reaction - January 6, 2010 as
prepared by the Public Affairs Information Office

How the US is Playing

Airport Security and Yemen. "Muslims Will Go Nuts With the New
Airport Measures" (Milliyet)
Turkish papers continue to give prominent play to new airport
security measures and the debate around privacy. "Chaos at
Airports" says leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet while mainstream
HaberTurk headlines "Full Body Scanners: A Threat for Celebrities
and Children." In its headline story "Full body scanner caused an
ethical debate" liberal daily Radikal sums up the debate under two
major concerns: "Full body scanners may lead to child pornography"
and "Celebrities feel uneasy about the possibility of internet-use
of their scanned visuals." Based on Turkish authorities' comments,
the story adds that Turkey will continue with the current search
procedure because "existing laws do not permit use of full body
scanners." Mainstream Milliyet's Mehves Evin wonders if these
measures are part of a deliberate plan to deter Muslim immigrants to
the UK and the US. Noting the grave concern about privacy
violation, "especially for conservative Muslims," she concludes:
"Not only the MMW technology stirs a serious privacy concern but
also it seems the Western world is finding a way to stop Muslims
from migrating to the UK and the US in a politically correct
fashion."

Islamist Yeni Safak headlines "Yemen Alert in the White House" and
reports that President Obama asked for an emergency summit to
discuss the Yemen issue. The paper makes a prediction that the
14-country list will be expanded. A columnist in Yeni Safak,
Ibrahim Karagul argues about "security weakness caused by Israelis."
Implying a deliberate negligence by an Israeli security firm he
writes: "Amsterdam airport security is carried out by an Israeli
firm, and it is very interesting that this Nigerian guy got on board
despite being on the list."

Financial Times Comment on Turkey-US: "Turkey Turns Its Back"
(Cumhuriyet)
Financial Times (FT) blogger Gideon Rachman's column received
prominent play in major Turkish newspapers under almost identical
headlines: "The United States Is Losing Turkey" (Mainstream dailies
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Vatan). The reports carried a summarized
version of the FT column highlighting "Turkey's foreign policy is
getting closer to authoritarian regimes, like Iran and China as
opposed to working in harmony with the US stance." Meanwhile,
liberal daily Radikal carried the entire column in a Turkish
translated version.

Nuclear Diplomacy Between Turkey-US-Iran (Hurriyet)
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that following Iranian FM Mottaki's
announcement that Iran could agree for Turkey to stock their
enriched uranium, Turkey accelerated the active diplomacy to find a
"common ground" between Washington and Tehran. It was learned that
following Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's phone conversation with
US National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Iranian FM Mottaki during
the last week of December, Turkey has tried to find common ground
regarding the technical details of exchanging Iranian uranium. If
that effort is successful, Hurriyet says the US and Iran will be
able to meet at the same negotiation table for the first time since
1979. In mainstream Milliyet, columnist Semih Idiz writes about the
Iran nuclear issue question he put to visiting Japanese Foreign
Minister Okada. Minister Okada called the issue "a reason for
instability." Mentioning that both Japan and Turkey have tried to
facilitate the transfer of enriched uranium to a third country,

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Okada said the "important issue is the transfer, it really does not
matter which country makes it happen."

"The Doctor Who Trapped the CIA" (Taraf)
In "CIA Assailant Doctor Turns Double Agent," mainstream Sabah
reports a suspected Jordanian double agent, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal
al-Balawi, who killed seven CIA officers in Afghanistan, was
imprisoned by Jordanian intelligence to coerce him to track down
al-Qaida's No. 2 in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Mainstream Milliyet
says al-Balawi studied medicine in Turkey. Islamist-oriented Zaman
reports al-Balawi had told his family he would go to Turkey for work
in March, hiding his true intention. "The Doctor Who Trapped the
CIA" is a page one headline in leftist Taraf which says al-Balawi,
"an al-Qaida agent," was invited to Camp Chapman, an American base
in Khost province on the Afghan-Pakistan frontier, on December 30
but was not closely searched.

In the Headlines

Turkish Foreign Policy Goals
Columnist Sami Kohen comments on a new set of goals designed by
Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu during the last Chiefs of Mission
conference in Ankara. In mainstream Milliyet he notes a "rather
comprehensive approach" to international issues and sums up FM
Davutoglu's remarks as follows: "Turkish foreign policy is under
revision after the post cold war situation. Geographical importance
will be emphasized. Turkey will assume global roles and will try to
turn crises into opportunities. Democracy is essential, so is the
EU accession goal. Security and freedom should not be an alternate
to each other."

60 Western Organizations on Tehran's Black List (Radikal)
All papers report Iran's Intelligence Ministry has banned its
citizens from having contact with 60 organizations, including the
BBC, Human Rights Watch, the Open Society Institute, the Israeli
State Radio and the US-funded broadcasters, accusing the Western
outlets of waging a "soft war" to topple the Islamic Republic.

Threat With Bullet to 'Cosmic Judge' (Milliyet)
"Threat with Bullet" which the Italian Mafia first used 200 years
ago to give the message that "I will hit you everywhere", targeted
judge Kadir Kayan and Public Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili, who are
carrying out the 'cosmic' investigation at the Regional Mobilization
Command. Kayan and Bilgili were sent envelopes, with 8 Kalashnikov
bullets in each of them, by cargo yesterday. An immediate
investigation was launched and the addresses and telephones on the
envelope were proven false. Mainstream Hurriyet notes that the
bullets were accompanied by threatening notes. Islamist-oriented
Yeni Safak says that it was interesting that the number of bullets
was the same as the number of soldiers who were detained and
released in connection with the alleged plot for the assassination
of Deputy PM Bulent Arinc.

"What About the Turks Forced to Migrate From Bulgaria?" (Yeni
Safak)
In "Migration Was Not One-Sided," leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
reports Foreign Minister Davutoglu responded to Bulgarian demands
for USD 10 billion in compensation for the properties of Bulgarian
citizens who migrated from Turkey after 1913. "What happened did
not happen as a unilateral emigration. Nearly two million Turks had
to leave their homes in Bulgaria, heading back to Turkey. Any
discussion of these historical issues needs a wider debate. But the
continuation of it is in the good of both countries. There is great
benefit in avoiding making such statements which might harm the
friendly relations between Turkey and Bulgaria," said Davutoglu.

TV Spotlight

Palestinian President Abbas in Ankara for a working visit. Abbas
will meet President Gul.


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Kurdish BDP group leader Nuri Yaman accused the AKP government for
the closure of the DTP.

Prime Minister Erdogan rejected opposition parties' calls for early
elections in 2010.

Prime Minister Erdogan announced 4.5 to 20.4 percent increases in
pensions.

Prime Minister Erdogan will visit Russia on January 12-13.

About 55 people were injured Tuesday in clashes at the port in
al-Arish between the Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian relief
convoy activists trying to get into the Gaza Strip.

Greek Cypriot President Christofias said he was against making an
interim settlement in Cyprus.

The United States reopens its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana.
SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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