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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2010

Highlights: Israeli Apology Reported; US Implicated in Nuke
Scientist Death; Turkey Scores with Freedom House; US Science Envoy
Visits; Israel-Turkey 'Diplomatic Crisis' Rages; MFA Statement;
Barak Visit in Limbo; Turkish Pundits on Breach; CHP, MHP Reaction
to Israel; Armenian Court Approves Protocols with Turkey; US
Soldiers Killed on Yemeni Border; TV Spotlight


Breaking News: Mainstream Hurriyet website reported Israel has
"officially apologized" from Turkey over the mistreatment of
Turkey's Ambasador in Tel Aviv. "PM Netanyahu 'intervened' when
Ankara did not find sufficient the explanations of Ayalon, and now
Turkey's MFA is looking into the statement from the Israeli PM that
carries a disapproving tone of Avalon's attitude and expresses
regret" says Zeynep Gurganli on Hurriyet OnLine.

How the US is Playing

Iran - US Implicated Nuclear Scientist's Death: "Fourth One in
Nuclear Mystery" (Hurriyet)
Turkish media give prominent play to the killing of an Iranian
nuclear scientist, calling it "mysterious" and linking it to US
plans in Iran. "Mysterious Assassination" headlined liberal
Radikal, which also spotlighted State Department spokesman Mark
Toner's remarks regarding the "absurd accusations" from the Iranian
regime. "Assassination Against Nuclear Professor in Tehran"
announces leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet and notes "it was mind
blowing that the killing happened two days after General Petreaus
remarks on the US readiness plans for a strike against Iran," and
notes the upcoming UNSC debates on sanctions against Iran. Islamist
Yeni Safak's front page story says "Lots of Secrets About the
Killing of Nuclear Physicist" noting he supported the opposition
candidate during the recent presidential elections.

Washington Cautious on Turkish-Israeli Tension: Tension between
Turkey and Israel continues to be a dominating story in television,
web sites as well as in wire services. Turkey's ATV channel
Washington reported that an official at the State Department
commented: "what happens diplomatically in Turkish-Israeli relations
is a matter between the two countries." The station's reporter
interpreted this as "Washington closely watches the issue but
remains cautious.

Turkey's Scores in Freedom House Report (Hurriyet)
Turkey scored a "three" in political and civilian rights in this
year's Freedom House human rights report. Responding to Anatolia
News Agency, the organization's research director Puddington said
"We think that the Turkish government's democratic opening
initiative to integrate Kurds into the Turkish public is very
important. However, we were disappointed to see the closure of DTP
by the Constitutional Court. We think that PM Erdogan is acting
within democratic rules, but we are not happy about the tax fine
case initiated against Dogan Media Group. The company was fined to
pay for more than its value. We are following this case closely,
because we consider this case as a way to threaten opposition
media."

US "Science Envoy" Dr. Zewail Visits Turkey
Hurriyet, Sabah and CNNTurk report that Dr. Ahmed Zewail, one of
three "science envoys" appointed by Secretary Clinton, is visiting
Turkey this week. "A statement from the US Ankara Embassy said
Zewail would visit Turkey under a regional tour which covers Egypt,
Lebanon and Jordan, and that he would visit Middle East Technical
University, Bilkent University and Scientific and Technical Research
Organization TUBITAK," reported Hurriyet.

In the Headlines

Turkey-Israel Tensions Rage: "Ties with Israel Breaking"
(Cumhuriyet)
All media outlets give extensive and very angry front-page coverage

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to the Israeli snub of Turkey's Ambassador Oguz Celikkol over
Ankara's persistent criticism of the Jewish state, focusing on
Deputy FM Danny Ayalon refusal to shake Celikkol's hand and making
him sit on a lower seat at a meeting after waiting in the hallway.
"One Minute Mr Ayalon" reads a banner headline in mainstream
Hurriyet, which lashes out at the Israeli Deputy FM for
"disregarding all protocol rules." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
warns in a banner headline "Ties with Israel Breaking," and quotes
FM Davutoglu as saying "under such conditions, there will be no
dialogue with Israel." Mainstream Milliyet headlines "Silliness"
and points out that Israeli Deputy FM "actually ridiculed himself"
while trying to shame Celikkol. Liberal Radikal says the snubbing
of Celikkol amounts to a "Middle Ages Style Reaction." Tabloid Aksam
headlines "The Israeli Trap" and claims Israel was still in "shock"
over PM Erdogan's "One Minute!" outburst in Davos last year. "Shall
We Swallow This Humiliation?" screams nationalist-conservative
Tercuman, while Leftist Taraf says Ayalon is "the Bumpkin of Tel
Aviv" and adds that the Israeli Deputy FM who humiliated Turkey's
ambassador is the "laughingstock of the world." Mainstream
Haberturk says "rascal" Ayalon should apologize or Turkey's
ambassador should be withdrawn from Israel. Islamist-oriented Zaman
says the Turkish MFA issued a stern warning to Israel: "Know Your
Limits." Meanwhile, "Vile and Vicious" reads the headline in
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak, which reports PM Erdogan said Israel's
"wrong attitudes" against Turkey would always be "reciprocated."

MFA Statement: All papers report the MFA said in a statement,
"Turkey denounces the treatment and waits for an apology from
Israel." The Turkish MFA summoned the Israeli ambassador Gaby Levy,
and warned him that "everyone should know his limits." MFA U/S
Feridun Sinirlioglu was quoted extensively that "the treatment of
Turkey's ambassador was extremely impolite. Mainstream Haberturk
reports Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said he was not
planning to apologize, and that the Turks had to apologize for the
worlds of Erdogan and the controversial TV serial "The Valley of the
Wolves." Papers also carry the Israeli Industry Minister Ben
Eliezer's comments to Israeli Radio: "I am not happy about what's
happening with Turkey. Israel will not benefit from pushing Turkey
into the anti-Israeli camp."

Barak Jan. 17-18 Visit in Limbo: Several papers, basing their
comments on a Ha'aretz report, claim the scene was "planned" by
Israeli FM Lieberman, who is plotting to block the forthcoming
official Turkey visit of the Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Zaman and others report Benjamin Netanyahu supported Lieberman in
the controversy, and that the Israeli PM also said he was concerned
of the developing Turkish ties with Iran and Syria. Papers and
televisions report PM Erdogan as saying he would not meet with
Barak. Papers report Barak's office said a meeting with PM Erdogan
was not on the schedule of the Israeli Defense Minister while in
Turkey on January 17-18. All-news channel NTV speculated Celikkol
would come to Ankara for consultations before Barak arrives, and
that the Ambassador's stay in Turkey might be "extended."

Commentary: "Diplomatic Crisis" with Israel
Pundits across the board call Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister's
attitude toward the Turkish Ambassador as "undiplomatic and
unacceptable." Noting the internal fight within Israeli's coalition
government, columnist Cengiz Candar in liberal Radikal says: "A
faction in Israeli government is trying to defame Turkey especially
after Ankara's regional accomplishments." Radikal's Murat Yetkin
agrees: "Foreign Minister Lieberman represents a radical wing and he
seemed to have a deliberate act for sabotaging the upcoming Israeli
Defense Minister visit to Turkey." Mainstream Milliyet's Asli
Aydintasbas joins the choir by saying "The brutal style of Israeli
Foreign Ministry significantly damaged bilateral ties and also
undermined already the upcoming visit of Ehud Barak." Islamist Yeni
Safak writers Ibrahim Karagul as well as Fehmi Koru consider the
recent tension "because of Israel's growing uneasiness about
Turkey's diplomacy successes in the entire region." Mainstream
Sabah's Mehmet Barlas draws attention to Turkey's close friendship

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with the Middle East world while Israel's growing isolation in the
region. Leftist nationalist Cumhuriyet's senior editor Orhan Birgit
has a different approach: "PM Erdogan is in a deliberate act by
constantly making tension-building statements against Israel. These
messages are aiming at the fundamental party root of AKP which is
well known anti-Jewish." The writer says "this might be a public
relations effort on the eve of a possible early election."

CHP, MHP Reactions to Snub of Turkish Ambassador
Mainstream Aksam reports opposition CHP deputy chairman Onur Oymen
said the term "diplomatic scandal" was not enough to describe the
incident, and stressed no one around the world could give
"second-class treatment" to a Turkish envoy. MHP lawmaker Deniz
Bolukbasi, a former diplomat at MFA, said Ankara should withdraw
Ambassador Celikkol, suspend military ties with Israel and also
cancel the visit of Ehud Barak.

Armenian Constitutional Court "Presses the Button" for the Border
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that the Armenian Constitutional Court
validated the protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia in
October. The protocols will be sent to the Foreign Relations
Committee in Armenian Parliament. Hurriyet notes that "Armenia in
recent weeks has expressed growing frustration over the Turkish
Parliament's failure to ratify the protocols although the Armenian
parliament has also yet to ratify the accord." Mainstream Sabah
headline reads "Yerevan: "Protocols abide With the Constitution."

Saudi Soldiers were Killed at Yemeni Border (Sabah)
Media reported that four Saudi soldiers were among the dead
following a Saudi Arabia force clash with Shiite militants at the
Yemeni border. Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Halid Bin Sultan said
that the total death toll reached 82. According to Sabah, Minister
Sultan stressed that the militants were given 48 hours to evacuate
the village, however, they did not abide with the ultimatum, and
"that is why all of them been exterminated."

TV Spotlight (CNN Turk)

Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir was interrogated Tuesday by the
prosecutor for five hours in connection with an investigation
against the PKK arm KCK.

Two lawmakers -- Harun Ozturk (Izmir) and Huseyin Pazarci
(Balikesir) -- have resigned from their party DSP.

Labor union Turk-Is will stage a protest rally in Ankara on January
16.

Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said the problems related to the
delivery of Israeli drones were resolved, and that a Turkish
delegation went to Israel on Monday to check the technical
characteristics of each plane.

Saudi television reported a clash with Shiite militants at Yemeni
border and announced that 82 Saudi soldiers were killed.

French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi says his he government
won't let Renault shift production of its Clio city car to Turkey.


A lawmaker from President Sarkozy's conservative party has filed
legislation to bar Muslim women in France from appearing in public
wearing veils.

SILLIMAN

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