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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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SIPDIS

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
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2010

Media Highlights

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

How the US is Playing

Armenian Genocide Resolution (AGR) Tensions with the US Ambassador
(Zaman)
Media outlets report extensively on Ambassador Jeffrey's interaction
with members of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee on 2/16,
emphasizing that the "US gives full support to the normalization
process between Turkey and Armenia," and, regarding the AGR, that
"Congress is an independent institution, we do not know the final
outcome." Like most media, Milliyet in its front page story reports
that CHP and MHP members of the committee criticized the US for
bringing Armenian genocide drafts to the agenda every April and
exerting pressure on Turkey, saying that the AGR was hanging as a
"Damocles' sword" over Turkey. "We told the Ambassador that
Turkey-US ties could suffer a great blow if the bill on the events
of 1915 was adopted by the House of Representatives," Murat Mercan,
head of the Turkish parliament's foreign relations committee told
reporters. In "Veiled Threats from Jeffrey," Cumhuriyet notes that
Jeffrey commented: "As President Obama told PM Erdogan on December
7, the best way out is the approval of normalization protocols with
Armenia." The paper also reports that opposition MHP lawmaker Deniz
Bolukbasi reacted strongly to Ambassador Jeffrey, saying the US
Ambassador's remarks constituted a "veiled threat." In "Cold Shower
for US at Foreign Relations Committee," mainstream Vatan reports
Jeffrey said he also wished the bill wouldn't be adopted. "We have
been giving the same message to Armenia," said Jeffrey, stressing
that the best way would be the continuation of the normalization
process between the two countries." All papers note that the
Ambassador agreed to pass the committee's views back to Washington.

Security Training Confession from the US Consulate (Sabah)
Mainstream Sabah reports that the US Consulate in Istanbul has
confirmed the allegations of Saadet Party (SP) leader Prof. Dr.
Numan Kurtulmus regarding security training given to religious
minorities. US Consul-General Sharon Wiener said that the
Consulate was responding positively to occasional security
consultancy requests from organizations with American employees or
visitors and that the informal consultancy service was launched in
2004, following terror attacks on the British Consulate, HSBC bank
and a synagogue in Istanbul. She added that the training was given
to some religious groups, schools, hotels, private companies and
Turkish governmental organizations that were visited by US citizens.
She noted that the goal of the consultancy service was to increase
security perceptions in areas visited by Americans, to improve ties
between security officials and to improve the capacity of these
organizations to cope with terror threats. Also, the training was
related only to defensive issues, and did not include any practices
with arms.

Secretary Clinton: "Missile Shield Will Protect Turkey as Well"
(Hurriyet)
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that during her visit to Qatar,
Secretary Clinton gave an interview to al-Jazeerah TV and responded
to a question on missile shield by saying, "The missile shield will
provide a right defense for Turkey and the Caucasus region and will
provide an additional guarantee against any threatening stance. We
are discussing the details with our friends in the Gulf, including
what else will be needed from a defense angle, in case Iran pursues
its nuclear goals." Hurriyet adds that the US changed its mind
about establishing a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, and
instead, has decided to sail its specially equipped war ships into
the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

In the Headlines

"Four Critical Messages to Iran" (Sabah)

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Turkish media report that FM Davutoglu asked Iran during a visit
there on 2/16 to suspend its uranium enrichment program for a while
in order to "reduce already heightened tensions." Mainstream Sabah
reports that Turkey put forward new proposals "which can facilitate
breaking the deadlock" and summarized Davutoglu's four critical
messages as "The fate of the region is in Iran's hands. The Arab
world is worried while the Western world is getting tougher. Iran
should take steps to reduce tension. Postpone the uranium
enrichment program for a while." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
highlights Iranian FM calling Turkey "a consultant to Iran."
Mainstream HaberTurk notes Davutoglu "conveyed the Western world's
messages to Tehran" while Islamist and pro-government Zaman
characterizes the efforts as "Nuclear Diplomacy in Tehran." All
papers quote Iranian FM as saying "we consider Turkey to be a good
friend and a good adviser. We also believe Turkey can help us in
making the world understand better about Iran's peaceful nuclear
program." Columnist Soli Ozel in mainstream HaberTurk underscores
that Turkey is in a diplomacy effort "even though it does not have
direct control of its dynamics." Given the current situation, "it
is entirely up to Iran's attitude" says the writer, concluding: "If
Iran chooses not to change then it will face serious consequences
that are completely out of Turkey's control."

At the Turkish parliament on 2/16, Ambassador Jeffrey responded to
questions related to FM Davutoglu's talks in Tehran. Ambassador
Jeffrey outlined ongoing consultations between the US and Turkish
diplomats but recalled that Iran had yet to give a satisfactory or
concrete answer to the offer made by the UN Security Council.
"Hopefully, an answer will come thanks to mediation by Mr.
Davutoglu," said Jeffrey.

TV Spotlight (CNN Turk)

On Tuesday, police detained Erzincan Chief Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner
after a thorough search at his office and house as part of the
ongoing probe into 'Ergenekon.' Cihaner is accused of "membership
in a terrorist organization," "falsifying documents" and "slander,
insult and threats against individuals."

Special units of the fourth Commando Brigade in Tunceli launched
operations against the PKK in Mazgirt in the province, which is
expected to stage spectacular attacks in the country on the
anniversary of Abdullah Ocalan's capture. `Professional soldiers`
join the operation.

Opposition CHP will file a censure motion against the government in
connection with alleged irregularities in the return of the PKK
militants to Turkey from northern Iraq last October.

An editor and a correspondent for daily Radikal face trial for
making terror propaganda in an interview with the former DTP
lawmaker Emine Ayna.

Prime Minister Erdogan will pay a formal visit to Spain between
February 21-23 for the second intergovernmental summit to take place
in Madrid.

Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim announced Turkey's decision
to increase flights to Libya during a meeting with Muhammad Ali
Zidane, Libyan communications secretary.

President Abdullah Gul sent a congratulatory message to President
Fatmir Seydiu of Kosovo to mark the second anniversary of the
country's independence.

The British high commissioner to the Greek Cypriot administration,
Peter Millet, said the permanent members of the UN Security Council
welcome the progress in ongoing Cyprus negotiations.

A ranking by global analyst Maplecroft says Iraq is the country most
at risk from terrorist attacks for the second straight year, while

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Turkey is 14th on the list.

JEFFREY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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