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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000467

SIPDIS

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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, MARCH 1, 2007


ANKARA 00000467 001.2 OF 002

In Today's urkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) told Yeni
Safak Turkey will participate in a March 10 foreign ministerial
meeting in Baghdad, which would include the US, UK, France, Russia,
and China. Zaman says the first meeting will be held in Baghdad on
March 11 and then Cairo will host the second gathering. Several
papers say Ankara is trying to incorporate the G-8 members, Germany,
Japan and Italy and the UN Security Council's permanent members,
into the second meeting expected to be held in Istanbul. Vatan
reports Ankara will invite Talabani to attend a meeting of Iraq's
neighbors in Istanbul in April. If the meeting takes place, says
Hurriyet, Secretary Rice will come together with the representatives
of Iran and Syria, countries characterized by the US as "rogue
states."

Turks React to Secretary Rice's Use of 'Kurdistan'
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak
and others report on Turkish leaders' reaction to Secretary Rice's
testimony at the US Senate Appropriations Committee, during which
the Secretary said, "The PKK, operating on the border between Turkey
and Kurdistan, is responsible for attacks into Turkey." Justice
Minister Cemil Cicek said "Turkey's neighbor to the south is Iraq.
We do not accept such statements."
Prime Minister Erdogan told CNN-Turk yesterday that Rice's was "a
wrong statement," and that "such statements do not matter that much,
what matters is some 60-70 Muslims are killed in Iraq every day. It
disturbs us a lot."

In addition, Zaman says Rice has signaled change to the three-party
mechanism among Turkey, the US, and Iraq when she said, "When we
speak of negotiations, it's really discussions between the Kurds and
the Turks and the Iraqi government, and we are facilitating that.
And I have retired General Ralston as an envoy to do this, to try
and mitigate those circumstances and to try to diminish the ability
of the PKK to attack Turkish territory."

Commenting in the mass appeal Vatan, Okay Gonensin urges a change in
the Turkish debate over "the Kurdish issue and Kurdistan": "When it
comes to the debate about Kurdistan and the Kurdish issue, we see
the resurrection of old-fashioned formulas. In fact the discussion
of Kurdistan requires that it be taken up in combination with the
Kurdish issue in Turkey as well as the terrorism problem. How can
we explain the double standard, as we support sovereign status for
Turkish Cypriots? The Kurdistan issue should be taken up free from
k and vention in Ankara the Kurdish issue and added that the PKK
should be given the chance to take part in the political process.
Turk told his party members that the party will be elected to
Parliament even if candidates have to run as Independents. Tugluk
also said that the solitary confinement of jailed PKK leader Ocalan
should be ended.

Netherlands Queen Beatrix Visits Turkey

ANKARA 00000467 002.3 OF 002


Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal and others: Queen Beatrix was in the
central Anatolian province of Kayseri yesterday, the home province
of many of The Netherlands' 350,000 strong Turkish community. FM
Gul and his wife accompanied the queen to Kayseri. Prince Willlem
Alexander and Princess Maxima were in Ankara to attend a meeting on
intercultural dialogue at Middle East Technical University. The
Queen met with PM Erdogan on the second day of her visit to Turkey
on the sidelines of an economy meeting at the Prime Minister's
residence. Speaking at the meeting Beatrix said company
representatives would discuss ways to improve bilateral relations.
Today, the Royal party will be in Istanbul.

Editorial Commentary: Withdrawing from Iraq
Zafer Atay comments in the economic-political Dunya: "The British
government has been pulling forces out of Iraq without announcing it
-- disguising it under other pretexts, such as tactical reasons.
This time it was made official and Blair declared that the number of
troops will be reduced first to 5,500 and then to 5,000 this summer.
Since Denmark, South Korea and Poland are also preparing to pull
out from Iraq, there will be almost no coalitiontic News

- Turkey has asked France to extradite the PKK militants captured in
recent police raids.

- The Diyarbakir court has rejected the objections to the arrest of
DTP provincial head Hilmi Aydogdu who had said "a Turkish attack on
Kirkuk will be perceived as attack on Diyarbakir."

- Turkey Green Coordination Group continues a signature campaign for
Turkey to sign the Kyoto Protocol. The group hopes to submit to the
Turkish Parliament 100,000 signatures in April.

- An IMF delegation led by Turkey desk chief Lorenzo Giorgianni will
come to Turkey on Thursday.

International News

- The Iranian parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee member Hamid
Reza Haji-Babai called on Turkey to support the nuclear ambitions of
Iran, warning that otherwise Turkey will become the next target of
US aggression.

- Iraqi police officials said Wednesday a report that 18 boys were
killed Tuesday in a bomb attack in Ramadi was false.

- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the US may have a military
presence in Iraq for a "prolonged period."

- The British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said no one is
doing enough to tackle a Taliban-led insurgency gripping
Afghanistan.


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

WILSON

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