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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
TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2010

US Embassy Ankara Media Reaction
Prepared by Public Affairs Information Office on a daily basis

Media Highlights

New TSA Regulations --"Historic Discrimination." (Radikal)
All media outlets continue to give prominent coverage to tightened
US airport security measures, with many outlets portraying the new
procedures as an anti-Muslim provocation. In a prominent front page
story, accompanied by graphic depictions of body scanning
technology, liberal Radikal reports that the US has started tight
security checks for 13 Muslim countries and Cuba and emphasizes that
the American Arab Committee has criticized the regulation. Islamist
Yeni Safak in a skeptical tone headlines "Obama is Turning into
Bush" while leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet headlines "Tight Security
in the US," and claims "Obama is under pressure to quickly reform
security measures against terror." In "Emergency Rules in US
Airports," mainstream Milliyet notes "The US has announced that
anyone flying to the US from or through nations considered 'state
sponsors of terror', as well as 'other countries of interest', would
have to undergo 'extensive scanning' before boarding. The paper
adds, "The US considers Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria to be state
sponsors of terrorism, while 'countries of interest' include
Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi
Arabia, Somalia and Yemen." Leftist Birgun calls the extra security
measure as resurrection of "Neocon mentality" while Islamist Yeni
Safak's Ibrahim Karagul sees the developments only "an excuse for
the US to open a new war front in Yemen."

US Targets Iranian Revolutionary Guards (Cumhuriyet)
Dailies Cumhuriyet and Zaman showcase Secretary Clinton's remarks
about Yemen being a global threat. CNNTurk reported that Secretary
Clinton announced that she is talking with partners about new
targeted sanctions against the Iranian leadership and that she does
not want new sanctions to affect the Iranian people. In "Clinton
Warns About Yemen" and "Clinton Insists on Yemen as a Target," other
online news web sites gave her Jan. 4 remarks prominent play, noting
that Secretary Clinton said the situation in Yemen posed risks far
beyond its region, and that the Yemeni government must reestablish
stability. According to tabloid Star's website, Clinton praised the
latest steps the Yemeni government took in the struggle against
radicals, and added that if it wanted the support of the West, the
Yemeni government must meet the "expectations and conditions" of the
US and its allies at the conference in London to be held this month.
Under the headline "The US Targets Revolutionary Guards,"
leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports Clinton said the US discussed
with its partners new sanctions on the Iranian government and
especially the Revolutionary Guards, without harming ordinary people
who "deserve better than they get now."

Iran: Turkey's "Backdoor Diplomacy"
Liberal Radikal's Akif Beki writes today about "strong possibility
of Iran to sit and negotiate with the US" and gives credit to
Ankara's backdoor diplomacy. Beki, a pro-government figure as well
as former press spokesman for PM Erdogan who is also Channel 24's
Executive Editor, sees "strong indications about Iran to agree on
negotiating with the US on the nuclear issue and also asserts that
Iran will make some commitments in order to persuade Washington for
[its sincerity about] the process." He comments: "The Iranian
regime is feeling very pressured due to the internal crisis and
wants to overcome it by opening itself to the international arena.
It will not be a surprising development when Iran sits down to
negotiate with the US on the nukes issue. Before doing that Iran
has to make some commitments about the process and there is an
ongoing backdoor diplomacy for this purpose."

In the Headlines

"Deep Strat 101" - Davutoglu's Lessons for Turkey's Envoys (Hurriyet
Daily News) All media outlets report that Foreign Minister Davutoglu
headed a gathering of 200 Turkish ambassadors from around the world

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in a weeklong meeting in which Turkey's foreign policy in 2010 will
be discussed. Mainstream and conservative alike, papers highlight
Davutoglu's admonition, quoting Ataturk, that "there is no diplomacy
of a line, but diplomacy of the surface, and that surface is the
globe" and his call for Ankara to come up with a coherent, unique
vision for Turkey's foreign affairs profile that takes into account
"public diplomacy" and works to "draw support from the public
audience both domestically and abroad." In "Ataturk's Strategy from
Davutoglu," mainstream Sabah noted that Davutoglu predicted Turkey
would be an EU member by 2023, integrated with its neighbors,
influential in the global arena and a respected country among the
leading 10 economies of the world. Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
headlined "Lessons in New Ottomanism," and noted Davutoglu stressed
that "military power is never enough" in arguing for more support
for Turkey's foreign affairs ministry. The paper also noted that
Turkey's former Ambassador to the US Sensoy did not attend.
Islamist Zaman and Today's Zaman noted the MFA is "understaffed and
underfunded" and provided detailed budget and personnel breakdowns.
Davutoglu said compared to other countries, Turkey had fewer
diplomats and fewer funds for its Foreign Ministry. "We have a
total of 1,464 diplomats while this number is 5,809 in France, 5,700
in Britain and 2,541 in Spain," he said. He called for greater
budget support and noted that seven new embassies opened in 2009;
with an additional 26 planned for 2010 in mostly Africa.

Gul: Government's 'Kurdish Initiative' Historic Opportunity to End
Terror
Media outlets report President Gul as saying in an interview with
CNN Turk television that there was no conflict between institutions
in the country. Gul said the government's 'Kurdish initiative' was
an "historic opportunity" to end the terror problem. Commenting on
the closure of the Kurdish DTP, Gul said closure of political
parties was "not right." "I oppose party closures. But what can
courts do against a party which states that a terrorist organization
is their basis of existence?" asked Gul. Gul said Turkey has been
going through a process of "normalization." He added some mistakes
might had been possible in the normalization process, and added that
these mistakes should be corrected under the framework of law. Gul
rejected speculations for a possible military intervention in 2010.
Asked whether a military coup was possible in 2010, Gul said such
speculations over military takeovers would have shown lack of
respect for the military.

Call from Europe to Ankara and Athens to Improve Minority Rights
(Hurriyet)
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe called on Turkey and Greece to go beyond the
Lausanne Treaty in their dealings with their respective minorities.
A report and a draft resolution by the assembly urged both countries
to treat minority groups in line with the norms of the European
Human Rights Treaty instead of a reciprocity act defined by the
Lausanne Treaty which secured protection for the Greek minority in
Turkey and the Turkish Muslim minority in Greece. Re-opening of
Halki Seminary, permission for Greek Orthodox Patriarch to use its
ecumenical title, and resolving the murder of Hrant Dink, were among
the demands from Turkey.

Bulgaria - "A Neighbor Wants Money" (Radikal)
Liberal Radikal, mainstreams Milliyet and Sabah,
Intellectual/Islamist-oriented Zaman report that Bulgaria demands 10
billion USD for the properties of the Bulgarian citizens who
migrated from Turkey after 1913. Bulgarian State Minister
Responsible of Bulgarians living abroad Bojidar Dimitrov announced
that Bulgaria will demand compensation from Turkey and noted that
Bulgaria might obstruct Turkey'e EU membership if the compensation
was not paid.

TV Spotlight

Amid scenes of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin skiing together at a Russian ski resort, Turkish

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media report that PM Erdogan will travel to Russia for meetings
January 12-13.

President Gul will host Tuesday a luncheon for the heads of the
legislative, the executive and the judiciary today.

Kurdish BDP has held Monday its first party group meeting in the
parliament.

Turkey's banking sector reports profits of 18.8 billion lira in the
first eleven months of 2009.

Turkish Exporters' Union says exports for 2009 total USD 97 billion.


Turkish Airlines (THY) will buy 20 Airbus planes between 2011 and
2012, and an additional 10 in 2013.

Syria has raised foreign contribution in private banks from 49 to 60
percent in a move expected to pave the way for more Turkish banking
investments in Syria.

Flights out of one terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport
are temporarily halted as officials investigate a possible security
breach.

SILLIMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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