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Viewing cable 09ANKARA1594, TURKISH MEDIA REACTION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ANKARA1594 2009-11-05 11:11 2010-11-28 18:06 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ankara
VZCZCXRO9785
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1594/01 3091153
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051153Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1151
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0121
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 6470
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 4250
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 7626
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 7530
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4125
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ANKARA 001594 
 
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, NOVEMBER 4, 2009 
 
Media Highlights:  Clinton's Global Partnerships; Commentary on 
Turkey-US-Iraq Relations; New Case Against Incirlik 
Base Extensions; Sabah on USNATO Tour to Afghanistan;  Another 'One 
Minute' Crisis in Rize; Erdogan Makes TGS Demands; Erdogan on 
Turkey's Foreign Policy;  Erdogan Rejects Swine Flu; New Turkish 
University for Kabul; 
 
Clinton's Global Partnerships to Strengthen Muslim Ties 
Turkish media outlets were lukewarm in initial reporting on 
Secretary Clinton's new initiative to boost development around the 
Muslim world.  National broadcaster TRT-TV Online in "Obama's New 
Beginning Plan," notes that "previously, in his June address in 
Cairo, President Obama promised to seek a new start to troubled US 
relations with the Islamic world."  In "Hillary Clinton Offers US 
Aid to Help Boost Muslim Ties," Islamic-oriented Today's Zaman notes 
that  "taken together the new package pales in comparison to the 
billions of dollars in aid that Washington  extends to governments 
in the region, including both Israel and Egypt."   In "New US 
Initiative for the Islamic World," liberal Radikal says, "Secretary 
Clinton, speaking at a development forum in Marrakesh, announced the 
new US initiative with the world's Muslims, to promote 
entrepreneurship, economic development and education."  Mainstream 
Aksam's online page headlines, "Clinton Holds Muslim Initiative in 
Morocco," and notes, "Clinton said the programs would aim to 
encourage scientific and technical collaboration, women's 
empowerment and cooperation between faiths." 
 
Pundits Take Note of Turkey-US and Turkey-Iraq Relations 
Cuneyt Ulsever in mainstream Hurriyet evaluates Turkey's foreign 
policy and says "I am sure Turkey will produce independent policies 
in certain areas, but after Obama was elected as the President and 
Davutoglu assigned as Turkish Foreign Minister, Turkey-US ties 
started settling on a new axis.  Within the framework of Obama's 
multi-centered politics -  which expects active participation from 
the other countries - Turkey is playing for the role of the US 
Representative in the Middle East.  US wants to test Turkey in four 
areas.  First of all the US wants to know whether Turkey will take 
over an active role in Northern Iraq or not.  Secondly, will Turkey 
be able to tame Iran under US' demands.  The US also wants to know 
whether Turkey will be able to take Syria to the US' side.  And 
finally, the US wants to test Turkey whether it will be able to save 
Hamas and Hezbollah from Iran's influence.  If Turkey passes all 
these tests without losing or isolating Israel in the Middle East 
completely, then Turkey will be considered successful, otherwise, 
we'll go back to Bush Administration's period." 
 
Sami Kohen in mainstream Milliyet compares current ties between 
Ankara-Irbil, as compared to last year, and says because of Ankara's 
rationalist and pragmatic strategies, Turkey has improved relations 
with the Northern Iraqi Administration. He comments: "The Kurdish 
Administration in Northern Iraq, with US pressure, supported Turkey 
in its fight against PKK terrorism.  And we came to today's point 
through a series of diplomatic and political initiatives, supported 
by the military.  Good ties with Northern Iraq is necessary for 
Turkey, especially after the US withdrawal from Iraq." 
 
Turkish NGO Goes to Court Against the Use of Incirlik Airbase by the 
US 
Papers report that following an application by the Global Peace and 
Justice Coalition, a Turkish NGO,  the Council of State (Danistay) 
prosecutor has demanded the annulment of a Council of Ministers 
decision made in 2007 to extend the agreement with the US allowing 
the use of Incirlik Airbase for another two years.  The prosecutor 
said the approval of the parliament was needed to extend the mandate 
for using Incirlik AB.  He noted that the parliament, and not the 
Council of Ministers, was to decide whether to authorize a foreign 
troop deployment in Turkey and to use Turkish facilities.  Danistay 
is expected to make a decision on the issue within a month, 
according to papers. 
 
Sabah Multipart Series on Afghanistan 
 
ANKARA 00001594  002 OF 004 
 
 
Mainstream-pro government Sabah's diplomatic correspondent Duygu 
Guvenc went on a USNATO tour in October in Afghanistan, reporting on 
the Turkish ISAF contributions and the challenges of civilian 
infrastructure projects in a three part series. She leds off the 
series with a frank assessment of  Turkey's" tough mission" in 
Afghanistan and how Turkey handles many projects there, including 
the police force, education and health services.   In addition to 
ISAF cooperation, she also emphasizes that the future of Afghanistan 
is in civilian hands, noting the need for teachers, engineers and 
doctors.  One part of the series takes a humorous look at life for 
the ISAF forces there, from rock concerts to the delights of Afghani 
bread.  "Now, ISAF is looking for a way out from Afghanistan," she 
observes and notes that  "civilians hold the key for the troop exit 
from Afghanistan." 
 
Turkey-Israel:  A Mini 'One Minute' Crisis in Rize and Calls for Gul 
to Visit Israel 
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Aksam, Haberturk, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak 
and Zaman report the mayor of the Black Sea province of Rize, Halil 
Bakirci, had an "unpleasant" exchange of remarks during a meeting 
with visiting Israeli Ambassador, Gaby Levy.  Mayor Bakirci told the 
Israeli Ambassador that the attitude of Turkish people toward Israel 
would not change as long as Israel continues its "expansionist 
policies."  "The people of Rize will defend themselves in the face 
of such threats, but they will not kill babies," said Bakirci.  Levy 
responded by saying that Israelis did not have any other 
alternatives for survival.  He admitted that Turkish-Israeli 
relations had entered a difficult period, but added that 
Turkey-Israel bilateral relations had strong roots.  According to 
Turkish media, the mayor went on to express anxiety about the safety 
of the Israeli tourists visiting the Black Sea region, who he said 
were viewed with suspicion but constitute 70 percent of all foreign 
visitors to the area. 
 
Commentary Condemns:  In mainstream Hurriyet, Chief Editor Ertugrul 
Ozkok took aim at the Mayor, criticizing him for his warning that 
"Israeli tourists should not come to Rize" and for voicing concerns 
of Israel policies in Gaza.  According to Ozkok, "if Ankara's harsh 
language spreads internally and turns into warnings to an Ambassador 
from a Mayor, then, it will be difficult for the Turkish foreign 
policy to stretch when it is necessary." 
 
Gul Should Visit Israel:  In mainstream Aksam, columnist Utku 
Cakirozer voices concern that the continuing diplomatic crisis will 
damage Turkey and Israel's strategic interests.  "The heaviest 
portion of the bill will go to Israel, because Turkey is Israel's 
only trustworthy ally in the Islamic world," he opines.  "Foreign 
Ministry officials in both countries and the Ambassadors in two 
capitals, exert extreme efforts to ease the tensions, however, the 
remarks of the politicians in both countries, do not help at all. 
We believe that, at this point, President Gul can play the most 
constructive role to eliminate the tensions.  If President Gul pays 
a visit to Israel, the relationship between Ankara-Tel-Aviv will 
reach the much deserved strategic level again." 
 
Erdogan Calls on TGS to Turn In Anti-Government Conspirators 
Papers report Prime Minister Erdogan, on an alleged military plot 
against his government, called on the TGS Chief General Ilker Basbug 
to bring to justice the suspects who drafted the plan for fighting 
fundamentalism.  Erdogan wanted the army to hand over Colonel Dursun 
Cicek, the author of the plan, and five other military officers to 
the prosecutor.  TV and print media also carry reports of a new 
wrinkle in the Ergenekon crisis with the publication if a new 
"military memorandum" on fundamentalism.  Media report that last 
night an unidentified officer e-mailed a copy of another secret TGS 
memo dated April 2009, to the 'Ergenekon' prosecutor and media 
outlets.  The new memo indicates that 430 websites, including the 
NYT, the New York Post, The Independent, ANF, DIHA, Bianet, the AFP 
and the WP, were monitored.  Wire services reported that 292 of them 
were in Turkish and 138 in foreign languages.  They were categorized 
as "separatist," "fundamentalist," "nationalist," "extreme left," 
 
ANKARA 00001594  003 OF 004 
 
 
"pro-EU" and "unbiased."  The memo was signed by eight officers, 
including Colonel Cicek.  It was presented to then TGS Deputy Chief, 
General Hasan Igsiz.  The memo also listed the websites used by the 
TGS for psychological warfare, say papers. 
 
Erdogan: Turkey in Close Ties both with West and Islamic World 
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan on Tuesday told his ruling 
AK Party group meeting that Turkey was "not shifting" its foreign 
policy, but was only getting "normalized."  Erdogan emphasized 
Turkey was in close relationship both with the West and the Islamic 
world.  "Defending the rights and humanity in the face of the 
Israeli atrocities in Gaza cannot be characterized as shifting 
politics," said Erdogan. 
 
Erdogan-Akdag Disagreement on Swine Flu Vaccines Lead to Confusion 
All papers report Erdogan's controversial rejection of the swine flu 
vaccination, just as swine flu vaccinations began in Turkey and the 
death toll hit eleven.  Health Minister Recep Akdag was vaccinated 
in front of TV cameras as part of the nationwide swine flu 
vaccination campaign.  Prime Minister Erdogan, however, said he will 
not get vaccinated, adding he did not agree with the health minister 
that it should be compulsory.  Akdag said the prime minister was not 
in the group at risk for contracting the virus, and that citizens 
would make their own choice about the vaccination. Erdogan's remarks 
also led to confusion over the effectiveness of the vaccine, say 
papers.  Eyup Can in Hurriyet  writes that the PM has more concerns 
regarding the vaccination campaign which the public doesn't know. 
"Otherwise," he says, " the PM would not be concerned that if 
anything goes wrong with the campaign, his government would get all 
the blame." 
 
Turkey to Establish University in Kabul (Zaman) 
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Turkey would establish Mevlana 
University in Kabul, upon demands coming from President Karzai that 
Afghanistan's education needs be met.  In the first phase, an 
Education Faculty will be set up.  Afghanistan will need 100,000 
more teachers by the beginning of 2010, says Zaman.  There is 
currently eight Turkish schools in Afghanistan, including two high 
schools for girls. 
 
Upcoming events: 
 
Q November 4: President Abdullah Gul will hold meetings with Prime 
Minister Erdogan and army chief General Ilker Basbug. 
Q November 4: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will meet in 
Ankara with the chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis. 
Q November 5-9: The 25th session of the Standing Committee for 
Economic and Commercial Cooperation of OIC (COMCEC) will be held in 
Istanbul. 
Q November 8: Iranian President Ahmadinejad will come to Istanbul 
for the OIC meeting. 
Q November 6: Foreign Minister Davutoglu will go to Paris for an 
official visit. 
Q November 10: The AKP government plans to bring the "democratic 
initiative" to the parliament for debates. 
 
 
TV News (NTV) 
 
Domestic 
 
Q The government plans to debate the government's Kurdish 
"democratic initiative" in the parliament on November 10, but 
opposition CHP says the debates should not be held on the day when 
Turkey commemorates the death of the founder of modern Turkey, 
Ataturk. 
Q DTP leader Ahmet Turk says his party will file a legal complaint 
against an alleged military plot envisaging steps against the Kurds. 
 
Q Farming Minister Mehdi Eker has briefed the parliament on a new 
regulation related to genetically modified food. 
 
ANKARA 00001594  004 OF 004 
 
 
 
World 
 
Q Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei says his country will not 
be deceived into reconciliation with its arch foe, the United 
States. 
Q France and Germany urge Iran to accept a UN-brokered proposal to 
enrich its nuclear fuel abroad rather than lose time by asking for a 
further round of talks. 
Q Four months after unrest in China's Xinjiang region, security 
officials have launched a fresh campaign to track down accused 
rioters. 
Q The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled against the 
use of crucifixes in classrooms in Italy, saying he practice ran 
counter to the child's right to freedom of religion. 
 
JEFFREY