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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000399

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
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2007


A QUICK LOOK AT
THE TURKISH PRESS
February 23,
2007

In Today's Papers

Gul on Iraqi Kurdish Leaders, Possible Iraq Division
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak
and others report Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, commenting on how
to tackle the PKK in northern Iraq, told the Islamist-oriented Kanal
7 TV that Turkey should talk "even with its enemies" if need be.
"Talabani and Barzani have visited Turkey several times. Our
meetings with them will not amount to recognition of an independent
region; we can show them their mistakes," said Gul, adding, "The US
and Europeans think Turks and Kurds are enemies -- we are not." He
also stressed that an independent state in the north of Iraq was a
"pipe dream," and that the Iraqi Kurdish leaders knew that such a
thing was "not possible." Gul noted that a fragmentation of Iraq
would inevitably pull in neighboring ountries. "A division of Iraq
will stoke unending wars," said the FM.

Missing US Guns Used in Turkey in Political Killings
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak and
others say some of the guns donated by the United States to Iraq
that went missing have been found in Turkey. Fourteen of the
missing guns, produced by the Austrian company Glock, were used in
politically motivated assassinations --- in the Council of State
(Danistay) attack and in the murder of Roman Catholic priest Andrea
Santoro in the Black Sea city of Trabzon. The Danistay attack in
Ankara last year left one senior judge dead and four others wounded.rsing guns
were seized `perationision, which cancelled the Cabinet decision freezing
the assets of Yasin Al-Qadi, a wealthy Saudi businessman on then UN
list of terror financiers. Acting in line with the UN request to
freeze assets of terrorists appearing on updated the UN terror list
after 9/11, Turkey in 2001 froze the assets of Yassin Al- Qadi, who
allegedly has ties with a number of AK party members, including
Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, and banned him from entering the
country. However, Al-Qadi challenged the Cabinet decision and
started a long legal fight, in which the government and Prime
Minister Erdogan later intervened. The result was that the Council
of State 10th department's overturned the Cabinet decision on
Al-Qadi, releasing his assets. As a result of the most recent
decision, the assets have been frozen again. Since the decision of
the Board is binding and final, Al-Qadi cannot have a say on his
properties in Turkey unless the Cabinet makes a new decision.

Editorial Commentary: Iran
Yilmaz Oztuna observes in the conservative Turkiye: "The UNSC
deadline for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment program has
expired. Iran previously defied the US and reiterated that the
nuclear program would continue. However, the Iranian long term
attitude to the UNSC may be not as harsh as one would expect from
the current Iranian regime. Iran may use soft language in order to
gain another six months, and to tie the hands of the US. Recent
reports indicate that both the US and the UK have concluded their
war plans against Iran. Given those military plans, Iran will do
its best to invalidate a war strategy against itself. It is likely
that Iran will eventually agree to compromise and use this as a

ANKARA 00000399 002 OF 003


trump card to get some serious concessions from Israel and the US.
Given the success of the blackmailing technique used by North Korea,
we have reason to believe that Iran will go for the same tactic as
well."

Sami Kohen comments in the mainstream daily Milliyet: "Following
the expiration of the UNSC deadline, the Iran crisis went back to
its starting point. From now on we will probably see scenarios
resembling tiffs more than dialogue. Washington has already started
giving signals in this regard. US military ships were sent to the
Gulf while international outlets, including BBC, highlight that the
war plans against Iran to damage the country's military and
strategic infrastructure are ready. Even though such plans do not
necessarily indicate an actual war situation, the overall tension
and scenes of shows of force are always reason for worry. The
sensible way of dealing with the Iran issue goes through diplomacy,
but Iran does not seem willing to be a part of it. The alternative
is the imposition of more sanctions by the UNSC against Iran, but it
is not easy to adopt another list of sanctions neither is there a
guarantee of achieving the desired result. In this picture, the
North Korean example comes in. There are differences between Iran
and North Korea nevertheless that does not rule out the possibility
for settling the crisis in the same way as the North Korean crisis
wasverything, there is still Kurds in Turkey
will regard an attack against Kirkuk as an attack directed against
them. Kirkuk is an internal matter for Iraq and any attack on it
will bring Kurds against the Turkish state." Yeni Safak reports
that the Diyarbakir prosecutor has initiated an investigation
against Aydogdu for his remarks.

Meanwhile, Milliyet reports that two officials from the DTP branch
in Van have been arrested following a police search of the office.
Reportedly, many publications linked to the PKK were seized by the
police during search.

Survey: AKP, CHP will Pass the Election Threshold, DTP to Run
Independents
Milliyet carries the results of a public opinion survey conducted by
the ruling AKP in 81 provinces with 200,000 people. The survey
shows that only AKP and CHP will be able to pass the ten-percent
threshold, with AKP getting 40 percent of votes and CHP 20 percent.
In southeast Turkey, only AKP and the Kurdish DTP will manage to
pass the threshold.

Meanwhile, papers report the Kurdish party DTP has decided to run
independent candidates in the upcoming general elections in Turkey.
DTP's vote of 6.2 percent in the last elections was not sufficient
to pass the threshold. The party expects to win 20-25 seats in the
parliament by the votes it hopes to receive in south and southeast
Turkey. If it secures 20 seats or more, the DTP will be able to
form a group in the parliament.

Crime Rate Increased Sixty Percent in Turkey
According to Turkish Security Department reports, the crime rate has
incrd 785,510 crimes were commurkey
la3 committed daily. TeQn 2005, rose to 294 in 206.ncial offences, 11,747 narcotics
smuggling, 1742 organized crime, 84 large smuggling, and 8 nuclear
smuggling. Radikal says the decreasing number of detentions -- 61
percent rise in crimes compared to only 11 percent rise in
detentions -- strengthened the claims that the Turkish police has

ANKARA 00000399 003 OF 003


gone on a "work slowdown" to protest EU adjustment laws.


TV Highlights
NTV (6 a.m.)

Domestic News

- A prosecutor in Istanbul has asked the Interior Ministry for
permission to initiate a lawsuit against Mayor Mustafa Sarigul and
organizers of the Hrant Dink funeral march for the placards that
said "We are all Armenians" and the "racist slogans" that were
chanted at the funeral of slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

- The Turkish parliamentary commission for the investigation of
"honor killings" has decided to set up a special committee to
monitor incidents of domestic violence.

- On February 27, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will travel to
Turkey to meet with President Sezer, Parliament Speaker Ariincluding
schools and hospitals in Turkey are not built to the right
specifications and are in danger of collapsing. A five-storey
apartment block in Istanbul collapsed earlier this week.

International News

- Turkish Cyprus "foreign minister" Turgay Avci said his country was
planning to open representation offices in ten countries by the end
of the year.

- Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II and Turkish Cypriot
religious leader Ahmet Yonluer met for the first time since 1974.
The meeting was hosted by Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe (PACE) President Rene van der Linden, who traveled to Cyprus
in an effort to promote dialogue between the two communities.

- The Chinese government has launched a nationwide campaign after a
survey found that nearly 14 percent of teens in China are prone to
becoming "Internet addicts." Treatment reportedly includes electric
shocks.

- Norway hosts a 48-nation meeting in support of a ban on cluster
bombs which campaigners blame for killing and maiming thousands of
civilians, many of them children.


http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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