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WikiLeaks: 2007-04-02: 07ANKARA754: Ankara Media Reaction Report

by WikiLeaks. 07ANKARA754: April 02, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 04:28 PM UT


Viewing cable 07ANKARA754, ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ANKARA754 2007-04-02 14:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ankara
VZCZCXRO1911
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0754/01 0921440
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021440Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1551
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7940
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2440
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1813
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5835
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5588
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2208
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR 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 02 ANKARA 000754 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT 
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2007 
 
 
In Today's Papers 
 
Government Fund Seizes Ciner Group Media Assets 
All papers report the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has 
seized 63 companies belonging to Merkez Media Group, including the 
mainstream Sabah daily and national TV channel ATV.  The government 
fund TMSF, which manages seized or failed assets, said on Sunday it 
was taking over businessman Turgay Ciner's Merkez Media Group 
because of secret agreements signed between Ciner and previous owner 
Dinc Bilgin.  The Ciner Group bought Sabah and broadcaster ATV from 
the fund in 2005, after the government seized the assets from Dinc 
Bilgin, a banker and media tycoon whose failed Etibank was also 
taken over.  A TMSF statement said that Bilgin and Ciner acted 
together to deceive the TMSF in their fraudulent actions which made 
the TMSF use its legal right to seize the companies.  Yeni Safak 
reports some close friends of Ciner quoted him as saying, "They have 
silenced us before the presidential elections."  Ciner will 
reportedly hold a press conference today. 
 
Presidential Ambiguity Continues 
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak and 
others continue reporting on political maneuvers ahead of the 
upcoming presidential elections.  Sabah says the fact that in his 
address to the nation on Saturday, Prime Minister Erdogan did not 
criticize the opposition but instead issued a call for unity by 
reviving Turkey's "spirit of the liberation war" indicates the PM's 
aspirations for the presidency.  Opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal 
said Erdogan was testing the grounds to become Turkey's new 
president, and called on center-right voters and parties to "rally 
around CHP" to block the AKP moves against Turkey's "secular 
Republican gains." 
 
Editorial Commentary on Kirkuk 
Ferai Tinc observes in the mainstream daily Hurriyet:  "Despite 
President Talabani's invitation to Prime Minister Erdogan to visit 
Kirkuk and see that no demographic changes had been made there, the 
Iraqi government, without getting the parliament's approval, decided 
to offer $15,000 and land to Arabs who want to leave Kirkuk 
willingly.  Although, the Iraqi officials say that this will be a 
fully voluntary act, representatives of Turkmen and Arabs in Kirkuk 
do not think so.  Either by force or with promises of land, it is 
obvious that the agreement reached between the Shiites and Kurds in 
the Maliki government is that Kirkuk's demographic structure will be 
changed.  Any reactions to this latest decision of the Iraqi 
government are silenced by referring to Article 146of the Iraqi 
constitution.  Meanwhile, the Turkmen and Assyrian population in 
Kirkuk initiated an international campaign to prove to the EU and 
the US that there was no stability in Kirkuk.  Moreover, Iraqi 
Assyrians told the US Congress that they were referred as 'Christian 
Kurds' in Northern Iraq and were not allowed to speak their own 
language.  They said that although they had been living on this land 
for centuries, now, the Kurds are trying to throw them off their 
land." 
 
Taha Akyol comments in the mainstream daily Milliyet:  "I used to 
deeply respect the reformist Hatemi.  He was planning to open his 
country to the world, but maybe it was too early, and this did not 
happen. Iran was not able to develop any aspect of its economy other 
than the oil.  It seems that it will never be able to develop other 
sectors because economic development never comes with instability 
and political conflicts.  Iran's latest act of capturing British 
sailors will increase the instability immensely.  I always believed 
in the Turkey-Iran friendship but I am strongly reacting now to 
Iran's causing continuing tensions in the region.  These tensions 
are damaging Turkey as well.  The path Iran is following is not a 
good one.  Whereas, a peaceful, reformist Iran with a developing 
economy would be good for Iran itself and for everybody else as 
well." 
 
Turkey Sets Own EU Timetable 
 
ANKARA 00000754  002 OF 002 
 
 
The intellectual Islamist-oriented Zaman reports diplomatic sources 
said Turkey, facing a partial freeze in its membership talks with 
the EU over a customs union dispute which involves Cyprus, is 
planning to finish the necessary political reforms by October 2009. 
According to a roadmap to be made public soon, Turkey will complete 
its harmonization with EU criteria by 2013.  The roadmap was 
prepared after Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met in January with the 
state institutions involved in the reform process.  Turkey is not 
expected to become a full member of the EU before 2014. 
 
Cumhuriyet reported on Saturday a booklet prepared by Turkey's 
General-Secretariat for EU Affairs says Halki Seminary in Istanbul 
will be reopened after the approval of a reform package in 2009. 
The package envisages meeting the EU requirements in education and 
culture, and is expected to allow foreigners to receive religious 
training at the seminary. 
 
US Narcotics Report Praises Turkey 
Hurriyet and Zaman report the US State Department 2006 International 
Narcotics Control Strategy Report says heroin coming from 
Afghanistan was transferred to Europe through Iran and Turkey, 
countries where "distribution" is carried out by ethnic or regional 
groups.  Zaman says the report praises Turkish police, gendarmerie, 
coast guard, and customs officers, noting Turkey has employed a 
significant number of personnel and a considerable amount of funds 
in the fight against drug trafficking.  The report also says Turkey 
plays an important role in DEA's "Containment Program" which aims to 
reduce the flow of Afghan heroin to west Europe. 
 
TV News: 
(NTV, 8 A.M.) 
 
Domestic News 
 
- Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, chairwoman of Turkey's influential 
business group, TUSIAD, said European businessmen back Turkey's EU 
entry, and urged the EU to fix a date for Turkey's full membership. 
 
 
- The Greek Cypriot administration is expected to make public a 
package of goodwill measures for the Turkish Cypriots. 
 
- A delegation of Turkish lawmakers will travel to the US from April 
14-21 to lobby against the Armenian genocide resolution. 
 
- Turkey has launched preparations for the construction of a nuclear 
plan that is scheduled to become operational by 2012. 
 
International News 
 
- President Bush said Iran must unconditionally release 15 British 
naval personnel seized ten days ago, calling their capture by Tehran 
"inexcusable behavior." 
 
- About 200 students shouting "Death to Britain" marched towards the 
British embassy in Tehran, throwing stones and home-made explosive 
devices. 
 
- The Iraqi government has endorsed plans to relocate thousands of 
Arabs who were moved to Kirkuk as part of Saddam Hussein's campaign 
to force ethnic Kurds out of the oil-rich city. 
 
- Turks and Kurds clashed Sunday in Brussels after a Kurdish 
community center in an immigrant neighborhood was set on fire. 
 
WILSON

 



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