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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

Published: Fri 9 Oct 2009 01:24 PM
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
Media Highlights: President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize; Turkey
Armenia Signing Ceremony; Minsk Meeting
Moldova; President Gul in France; Baykal-MHP Letters; Papandreou
Visits Istanbul; U/S Tauscher Comments on Missiles
President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
CNN Turk and all other channels were fast in announcing that US
President Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He wins over
more than 200 nominees. Most coverage was straightforward. At
mainstream NTV, the morning anchor hosted a call in program,
commenting that the win was unusual because "Obama has not made all
his campaign pledges and that he's sped up the war in Afghanistan."
Soli Ozel, a respected columnist for Haber Turk newspaper, commented
that "I'm extremely surprised because the Afghanistan/Iraq war has
been the US weak point and so far we've only heard expressions of
intentions... the Nobel Peace Prize should not be given to
intentions." Ozel continued: "I truly believe that Obama wants
peace but we don't have anything concrete yet. He's made a change
in discourse regarding US policies around the world but that
shouldn't be enough for the Nobel Prize."
Secretary Clinton to Attend Turkey-Armenia Reconciliation Signing
Ceremony in Zurich, October 10
All papers report that Secretary Clinton will attend the signing in
Zurich at the start of her European tour. Mainstream Hurriyet gives
details of the unusual "unofficial" invite by the Swiss. Mainstream
Hurriyet claims that because the Swiss were concerned about riling
the Armenia Diaspora, they released an invitation by email just to
the Turkish press corps and suggested they get there in time for the
signing at the Zurich University Paleontology Institute. Turkey's
new ambassador to Switzerland Oguz Demiralp will attend as part of
the Turkish delegation. Leftist Taraf claims Armenia insisted on
signing the protocols in the presence of witnesses from the EU and
the Council of Europe. Media also report FM Davutoglu yesterday
stressed that the protocols recognize the current borders. Papers
also report Armenian PM Tigran Sarkisian as saying they recognize
the existing borders with Turkey. Hurriyet says PM Sarksian was
also quoted as saying that property claims will be considered after
the signing. On Thursday, Davutoglu was widely quoted that he
expected "no surprises" regarding the signing.
"Not Only About Armenia:" Deniz Ulke Aribogan thinks Turkey-Armenia
normalization will better serve Azerbaijan's interests. In
mainstream Aksam, she writes: "Turkey-Armenia normalization process
has more geopolitical importance than improvement of bilateral ties.
Turkey not only opens itself up to Armenia but also expands
influence toward the Caspian Sea. At the same time Turkey helps
Azerbaijan to open toward the Black Sea. At the end of the day,
this process will provide win-win opportunities for everybody in the
region."
In an article "Armenian Diaspora Sins Again" columnist Mehmet Ali
Birand believes Turkish-Armenian process will continue despite all
counter efforts by the Diaspora. In mainstream Posta, he writes:
"The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey will sign a protocol to
reorganize relations. This protocol includes a process of mutual
understanding, a peaceful attitude, a new research method for
genocide allegations, the opening of borders between the two
countries and other issues.The upcoming visit of Armenian President
to Turkey for watching the national football game between Turkey and
Armenia with the Turkish President is going to be a signal of a
brand new start. This is the possibility that makes the Armenian
Diaspora revolt. Sarksian visiting Turkey and thus starting the
protocol process does not fit the Diaspora's general politics. The
Diaspora is afraid of losing enforcement power over Turkey.
President Gul's appeal to the Armenian Diaspora in this respect is
very appropriate. Sarksian coming to Turkey is crucial. In times in
which the Turkish public for the first time started to relax and the
idea of living with Armenia sounds right, the Diaspora's efforts
will backfire just like the Asala operation."
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Minsk Group Meeting in Moldova
Papers report the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents met Thursday
in Kishinev, Moldova for 3.5 hours. Papers report Ambassador
Bradtke said the meeting was "very positive, serious and
constructive." Islamist-oriented Zaman reports talks will continue
today with the participation of Russian President Medvedev.
President Gul in France
Papers are quoting Gul's comments to French PM Fillon as "don't
prevent Turkey's EU membership" and "a privileged partnership is not
wanted." Le Monde, according to Milliyet, commented that Gul's
official dinner last night to kick off the Turkey celebration in
France was a very low profile affair -- no French minister attended.
CHP Leader Baykal Receives the Long Expected Letter from PM Erdogan
Today's papers and TV channels comment on the letter CHP leader
Baykal received from PM Erdogan. Mainstream Milliyet says that
Baykal did not find the letter satisfactory and said that it was
only a request for an appointment to discuss democratic opening
issue. Islamist-oriented/intellectual Zaman, in turn says that
Erdogan said in his letter that terrorism problem could not be
resolved only by means of armed fight. Social consensus and support
from political parties were needed in this process.
Greek "Foreign Minister" to Istanbul
Vast coverage of Papandreou's visit to Istanbul for SE Europe
Foreign Ministers Conference. Papandreou, who is dual-hatted as PM
and FM, will attend in his FM capacity. In Istanbul, Papandreou
will visit the Patriarch. His first "PM" official visit will be to
Cyprus on October 19.
U/S Tauscher: Turkey may become part of the new missile shield
program
Papers report Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms
control and international security, said "PAC-3 Missiles that Turkey
will buy might become part of the new missile shield program..."
Tauscher invited "all NATO allies, including Turkey," to join the
project. She said the new system would result in more protection
for countries like Turkey. Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah notes
Russian Foreign Ministry announced Secretary Clinton will go next
week to Moscow to discuss Missile Shield issues.
Upcoming events:
Q October 13: Foreign Minister Davutoglu will attend High Level
Strategic Cooperation meeting with Syrian cabinet ministers in
Aleppo.
Q October 14: The EU will release its "progress report" on Turkey in
Brussels.
Q On October 15: Prime Minister Erdogan and Turkish cabinet will
gather with the Iraqi cabinet for the "strategic-cooperation
council" meeting in Baghdad.
Q October 21: Foreign Minister Davutoglu will hold a meeting with
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Paris.
JEFFREY
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