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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000335

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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
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2007


In Today's Papers

General Buyukanit Visits the US
All papers report Turkish General Staff (TGS) chief General Yasar
Buyukanit met with Vice President Cheney and National Security
Advisor Stephen Hadley in Washington yesterday. At a reception
given in his honor, Buyukanit warned "those dreaming of dividing
Turkey" that there were "dynamic forces protecting the country," and
that "no one could divide the country." Buyukanit maintained that
no one could carry Turkey to a point other than one determined by
the constitution. With regard to a possible adoption of an Armenian
genocide resolution by the US Congress, Buyukanit said "I have
worked with the US military for 50 years, and I can say that if such
a thing happens, we will be hurt. Esteemed commanders of the
American armed forces will share our feelings." Buyukanit stressed
if the resolution passes, "We will be hurt, but I believe reasonable
American citizens will refrain from hurting Turkey." The General
also said the terror of the outlawed PKK in Turkey and northern Iraq
and Iraq's integrity were not separate issues, warning the Iraqi
Kurds on the matter. On his first US visit as the head of the
Turkish military, Buyukanit will meet with General Peter Pace and
Under Secretary for Defense Eric Edelman on Thursday.

Erdogan Says Article 301 to be Changed
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan told the press before
departing for Turkmenistan on Wednesday that Article 301 of the
Turkish Penal Code, which makes it a crime to "insult Turkishness"
will be amended next week. "Some NGOs have submitted a proposal for
changing Article 301 rather than scrapping it. We are now working
to block the prosecutors from filing lawsuits even on applications
coming from third persons," Erdogan said. state as wellas the TGS." TAYAD members
will appear beforQ court on April 19.

On the other hand, Cumhuriyet reports 34 international NGOs as well
as organizations such as International Journalists Association,
International Journalists Federation, and International Publishers
Organization have sent a letter to the Turkish government, calling
for the abolishment of Article 301 rather than the amendment of it.


Show TV Series 'Kurtlar Vadisi' (Valley of the Wolves) Might be
Stopped
All papers report that, following the receipt of 14,000 complains
from the public, the chairman of RTUK (Radio TV High Commission),
Zahid Akman met with the Show TV director Saner Ayar to discuss a
possible ban on broadcasting the TV series 'Kurtlar Vadisi-Teror'.
Public concern was mainly that the series sets a bad example for
youth as it contains too much violence. Show TV administration
stressed that they are looking for ways to stop broadcasting the
mentioned program without facing any legal charges from the
producers of the series.

Renewed Investigation against Roj TV
Sabah, Vatan and others: A Danish Prosecutor Karsten Hjort decided
to renew the investigation into Roj TV. Turkey had several
initiatives in the past for the closure of the TV channel, claiming
it was the mouthpiece of the PKK. The Danish opposition claimed
that the current decision was result of pressures exerted by the US
and Turkey.


ANKARA 00000335 002.2 OF 003


Hak-Par Officials Given Prison Terms for Speaking Kurdish
Zaman, Cumhuriyet, Radikal and others: A court yesterday sentenced
13 top members of the pro-Kurdish party for Rights and Freedoms
(Hak-Par), up to one year in prison for speaking Kurdish in the
party's first general congress three years ago and sending
Kurdish-language invitations to participants and several state
officials. The court also decided to file a complaint with the
Court of Appeals Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to outlaw the
party under the Political Parties Law.

Editorial Commentary on North Korea, Iran
Fikret Ertan observes in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman: "The
nuclear programs of both Iran and North Korea are among the most
important issues that the international community currently faces.
Whether a settlement can be found to the Iranian issue still remains
to be seen. But at least the North Korean nuclear program issue has
been resolved diplomatically via an interim agreement. The
agreement signed in Beijing, demonstrates a change in the Bush
administration's 'no talks policy' for North Korea. Managing to
change the nature of the North Korean crisis and bring it under
diplomatic management provides hope and an example for the
settlement of the Iranian issue as well. In this respect, Secretary
Rice has already stated that effective international cooperation
which achieved the agreement was a message to Iran."

Sami Kohen comments in the mainstream Milliyet: "The agreement with
North Korea meets the primary expectations of the US as well as the
other signatories. With the help of this development, North Korea
will be able to overcome the isolation and be treated as part of the
international community. Even though North Korea will be able to
get away with its already produced 10 atomic bombs, the overall
apprers like
defyingthe world when it comes to defending their nuclQar power
ideal. But there are some differences between Iran and North Korea.
First of all, it is richer than North Korea and has the capacity to
endure outside sanctions. The fact of the matter is that unlike in
the case of North Korean, there is no unified bloc against Iran
either. Nevertheless, the North Korean example is about diplomacy
prevailing over force, and it certainly is worth trying over and
over again."


TV Highlights
NTV, 6.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has arrived in Ankara as the official
guest of his Turkish counterpart Erdogan. On Thursday, Olmert is to
meet Erdogan, President Sezer, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul,
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, and Turkish chambers union chairman
Rifat Hisarciklioglu. Reportedly, Israel said Erdogan's accusation
of Israel of raising tensions with a controversial road building
work near the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem has been "unfair and
untimely."

- The Istanbul Municipality has rejected a proposal coming from Eyup
Municipality for changing the name of the famous "Pierre Loti Hill."


- The Turkish Parliament is expected to adopt a bill allowing
foreign doctors to work in Turkey.

- Spain has accepted Turkey's request for the extradition of Turkish
drug smuggler Nejat Das.

ANKARA 00000335 003.2 OF 003

International News

- The White House expressed confidence Iran is behind the deadly
bombs in Iraq, despite disagreeing comments from the US Joint Chiefs
chairman General Pace.

- In a new audiotape released on Tuesday, al-Qaeda's
second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri called for Muslim unity,
threatening US allies in the region and warning of an escalating
threat from the Taliban in Afgterror operatio candidate, was sworn in
just minutes after his election ictory was announced.


http://www.state.sgovQgov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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