Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2007
In Today's Papers
Buyukanit Continues US Visit
All papers report that on Thursday, Turkish General Staff (TGS)
chief General Yasar Buyukanit told a press conference in Washington
after meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security
Advisor Stephen Hadley that he thought the US government "very
determined" in their efforts to counter the Armenian genocide
resolution in the US Congress as well as in the fight against PKK
terrorism. Papers report Buyukanit said his scheduled meeting with
US House Foreign Relations Committee head Tom Lantos, canceled
yesterday due to bad weather conditions, is to take place on Friday.
Buyukanit and Lantos are expected to focus on the Armenian
resolution as the main subject of the meeting.
Olmert Meets Turkish Leaders in Ankara
All papers report visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and
his Turkish counterpart Erdogan held a joint press conference in
Ankara after a meeting on Thursday. Olmert accepted Erdogan's
proposal to send a team of technical experts to Jerusalem to inspect
the controversial road building work near al-Aqsa Mosque. "We have
nothing to hide," Olmert stressed, "The work is being done outside
the Temple Mount area. We are very happy to host the prime
minister's team, and therefore the right, correct and exact story
will come out." Olmert also reaffirmed Israel wants peace with
Syria, but that Syria "has not stopped supporting terrorism, it
needs to accept the principles that were set by the international
community." Erdogan said with regard to the Palestine question that
the new Palestinian government is a hope, and that a positive
approach by Israel and the Middle East Quartet would be beneficial.
"It is not possible to solve this with Mahmoud Abbas alone; there is
a need for a strong government standing on its own feet. The
formation of a unity government could affect the process
positively." Erdogan also noted that he would invite members of the
new Palestinian government to Ankara once the national unity
government has been formed.
Olmert later met with President Sezer, Foreign Minister Gul, Defense
Minister Vecdi Gonul, and chairman of the Turkish union of esponse to a question on possibe Turkish cross-border military
incursions inQo northern Iraq, that he preferred peaceful methods,
but that Turkey has a "right to self defense" if attacked.
Editorial Commentary on Northern Iraq, Russia's Efforts in Middle
Okay Gonensin observes in the mass appeal Vatan: "The American
administration has decided to leave Kirkuk to the control of the
Kurds and the upcoming referendum will only make this official.
Given the fact, Turkey's current responsibility should be working to
eliminate pressure on the Turkmen community and helping to establish
democratic as well as peaceful relations in this area. Northern
Iraqi Kurdish leaders should also work with Turkey to discuss and to
find ways to settle the Kirkuk issue through the involvement of
Turkmen. Currently their attitude is to annoy Turkey even though it
will not help anything. If northern Iraq will eventually be an
independent state, its soil should not be a base for terrorism
against its immediate neighbor. If the leaders of northern Iraq
take some wise steps in this regard, they can pave the way for a new
kind of relationship in the region. In the meantime, Turkey should
be able to adopt domestic policies toward establishing a lasting
peaceful atmosphere regarding its own Kurdish problem. This is the
time for Turkey to take the steps in this regard -- steps which
demonstrate Turkey's self-confidence."
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Zeynep Dagi comments in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman: "Putin is
working toward winning over the Arab, especially after the growing
hate for the West due to the American occupation of Iraq and Israeli
attacks in Palestine and Lebanon. Putin's
regard to the Iraq wate sympathy in the
Mumic and politicalreasons. Moscow is also trying to solve the
terrorism problem that it has been facing since the demise of the
Soviet Union. Putin has become the first Russian president ever to
visit Saudi Arabia. His tour of the Middle East countries raised
many eyebrows in Israel and the US, but he was welcome by Arab
leaders. Russia seems to be concentrating on new initiatives toward
stability in the Middle East and toward establishing a multiple
balance system as opposed to the US-based unilateralism."
Eastern Mediterranean Oil Crisis Looming
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report
that despite objections from Ankara, the Greek Cypriot government
opened a bidding process Thursday to license offshore oil and gas
exploration. The first round of licensing involves 11 offshore
areas totaling around 60,000 square kilometers off the southern
shores of Cyprus. The Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) invited
prospective bidders to exercise "common sense," saying in a
statement yesterday, "Insisting on the tender process would affect
peace and stability on Cyprus and in the eastern Mediterranean."
Greek Cyprus signed a deal with Lebanon last month to facilitate
future oil and gas exploration. It has a similar deal with Egypt.
Ankara has warned both countries not to carry on with the deals.
Ankara says Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots too have legitimate
rights in the Mediterranean. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said
earlier this week that Turkey's state oil company TPAO will also
explore oil in the eastern Mediterranean. The TPAO is now expected
to issue tenders for international partners to search for oil and
gas in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
Anniversary of PKK Leader's Capture Raises Tensions in Turkey
All papers: On the 8th anniversary of the PKK's jailed leader
Abdullah Ocalan's arrest, there were many pro-Ocalan demonstrations
in the southeastern region of Turkey yesterday. Several shop owners
closed their shops to protest Ocalan's capture. In the provinces of
Diyarbakir, Siirt, Sanliurfa and Mersin, streets filled with people
protesting his arrest. In Sanliurfa, a group that attempted to make
a press statement and hold a march was blocked by police. In
Mersin, a group mostly made up of children, was dispersed by police
after a short march with pro-Ocalan banners.
Meanwhile, Milliyet reports that, in the northern Iraqi city of
Erbil, a march by members of Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party the local Peshmerge s tQial in Istanbul. Syrian citizen Louai
Sakka Qs among 72 suspected al-Qaeda militants on tria, for alleged
involvement in the bombings in Istanbul on November 15 and 20, 2003.
Putin's Speech Posted on General Staff Website
Sabah, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, Aksam, Bugun: Russian President
Vladimir Putin's February 10 statement in Munich, in which Putin had
strongly criticized the US and NATO, was placed on the Turkish
General Staff's (TGS) internet site. Sabah notes that no other
foreign leader's speech has been posted on the TGS website.
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NTV (6 a.m.)
- Authorities are monitoring a woman in a village in the
southeastern province of Diyarbakir who is suspected of having
contracted bird flu. The village has been quarantined, and human
health teams began checks of villagers.
- Prime Minister Erdogan said he was ready to take steps to improve
ties with the Kurdish administration of northern Iraq.
- Opposition CHP is to launch a parliamentary inquiry against Prime
Minister Erdogan and Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu for neglect
in the Hrant Dink murder investigation.
- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is to visit Turkey on
February 20 to meet with Foreign Minister Gul as well as join a
meeting of the Turkey-Iranian joint eco
ed a speech to the natios ways to resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bring peace to Iraq and
- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia expects the US to show
the same flexibility in resolving the problem of Iran's nuclear
program as it did with North Korea.