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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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DE RUEHAK #0517/01 0661521
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1242
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7874
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 2271
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1719
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5787
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5535
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2157
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OSS 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 03 ANKARA 000517

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
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2007


In Today's Papers

Kurdish Leader Sentenced for Calling Ocalan 'Mr'
All papers report Turkey's main Kurdish party DTP leader Ahmet Turk
has been given a six-month prison sentence for calling the PKK
leader Abdullah Ocalan "Mr. Ocalan" at a meeting in Diyarbakir in
January last year. The court said Turk used "Mr," an expression of
implied respect, more than once in the same speech. Turk said using
"Mr" constituted no crime in any part of the world, stressing it
would be impossible for them to exercise politics under such
conditions.

On the other hand, the lawyers of DTP Diyarbakir branch chairman
Hilmi Aydogdu have filed a complaint against Turkey's
counter-terrorism envoy Edip Baser for insulting Aydogdu by calling
him a "creature." Aydogdu was arrested for saying last month an
attack on Kirkuk would be perceived one made on Diyarbakir.

US Annual Human Rights Report
Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report US
State Department annual human rights report mentioned the
restrictions on free speech and press in Turkey as well as a rise in
"honor killings" and anti-Semitic publications. The report says the
role of military in Turkish politics and the Kurdish and Armenian
questions constitute the main issues of debate, noting individuals
joining such debates risk facing lawsuits. The 23,000-strong Jewish
community in Turkey is worried with regard to the rise of
anti-Semitic literature, a good example being "The Valley of the
Wolves" movie, says the report. It also notes 1,806 "honor
killings" have been committed in Turkey between 2001-2006.

Turkey Seeks Missile Defense System
Tabloid Aksam reports that on March 1, the Turkish Defense Industry
Undersecretariat (SSM) announced it will purchase four long-range
missile defense systems for the Turkish Air Forces. The paper says
Turkey's anti-missile project was backed by the US, and claims the
decision indicated preparation for a possible military operation
against Iran. The conservative-nationalist Turkiye, however, claims
Turkey is developing its own missile system independently from the
US. It says Turkey will choose from among the US Patriot, Russian
S-300 and 400, and Chinese FD-2000 missile defense systems. Turkiye
says the system will be set up in Ankara and Istanbul whereas Aksam
claims it will be either in Malatya, Erzurum, Diyarbakir, Mus, or
Batman.

Cumhuriyet claims Ambassador Toria Nuland, the US representative to
NATO who visited Ankara earlier this week, pressed Turks to take
part in the US nuclear missile shield. Turkey, however, fearing
deployment of US missiles at home could displease its main energy
provider Russia, stays distanced to the US proposal, according to
the paper.

Ambassador Schlicher on Cyprus Oil Rights
Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and Zaman report the US Ambassador in Nicosia,
Ronald Schlicher, has said signing offshore licensing agreements for
oil exploration in eastern Mediterranean was the sovereign right of
Greek Cyprus. Schlicher said those "doubtful" about the Cyprus
Republic's right to make oil deals should follow "legal and peaceful
procedures." Schlicher also noted, "the US is of the opinion that
the July 8, 2006 [the Gambari process] should be implemented at
once, targeting a launch of the real negotiations." Schlicher was
meeting with Dimitris Hristofyas, the Greek Cypriot parliamentary
speaker and the secretary-general of the left-wing AKEL party.

Meanwhile, The Islamist-oriented Zaman reports the EU Enlargement
Commissioner Olli Rehn, meeting Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister
George Lillikas yesterday, called for an implementation of the
direct trade regulation drafted by the EU Commission in July 2004.
Lillikas, opposing the use of Turkish Cyprus ports for direct trade,

ANKARA 00000517 002 OF 003


said before launching direct trade, there should be political
unification, economic integration, and increased cooperation between
the two communities in the divided island.

Tuzmen Seeks Israeli Support against Armenian Resolution
Mainstream Hurriyet reports State Minister Kursad Tuzmen, heading a
Turkish businessmen's delegation in Israel for economic talks,
called on the Israeli businessmen and politicians to support Turkey
in the face of the Armenian resolution in the US. "Turkey and
Israel do not only share historical ties, Turkey is the second
country after the US in receiving Israeli tourists. The Turkish and
Israeli peoples have always lived together in harmony and
friendship; we now expect your support with regard to the Armenian
resolution," Tuzmen told a seminar in Tel Aviv.

Writing in the tabloid Posta, Mehmed Ali Birand recommends getting
Armenia "on Turkey's side": "Let's get Armenia on our side: Now the
strongest advantage Turkey has in the genocide struggle is its
relations with Armenia. The importance of this advantage will grow
even more during the political phase of genocide allegations in
other countries. Developing economic relations with Armenia and
opening borders will both increase Turkey's prominence in the region
and ease some of the pressure it is under. The talks about how to
establish relations with Armenia and how mutual approaches can be
reorganized will not be binding for anyone. If conditions that
cannot be met arise during these talks, the simplest thing to do
would be to leave the table. However, even the news that Turkey and
Armenia are in meetings will have positive consequences in the
international arena."

Editorial Commentary: Iran
Zafer Atay writing in the economic-political daily Dunya, warns of
the consequences of an attack on Iran: "Given the conditions of
Iran, the US probably hopes to finish the job using air bombardment.
Yet whether it will be good enough to finish the job is
questionable. And we should also keep in mind the possible
aftermath scenarios. Iran might incite more terrorism through the
Shiite terrorist groups and might cut off the oil flow from the
Gulf. Turkey will face immediate consequences both diplomatically
and economically if a new crisis emerges right next door."

TV Highlights
NTV (6 A.M.)

Domestic News

- Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institution will examine Ocalan's blood
samples and hair to find out whether there are any traces of
chemical poisoning.

- Police in Ankara have arrested 35 members of a gang bribing
Turkish employees in German, Greek, Romanian and Austrian embassies
to smuggle PKK members to EU countries.

- Prime Minister Erdogan said on the eve of March 8 World Women's
Day that discrimination against women was "worse than racism."

- Seven youths who composed a song mocking the Turkish university
entrance system face trial for insulting public officers. If
convicted, the youths will be given prison sentences up to 17
months.

International News

- A powerful earthquake rocked western Indonesia on Tuesday, killing
at least 70 people.

- The Greek Cypriots are alarmed by the plans of Turkish Cyprus
leader Mehmet Ali Talat to join a Turkish diaspora meeting in
Azerbaijan on March 9 together with Prime Minister Erdogan.

ANKARA 00000517 003 OF 003

- EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn expressed anxiety with the
frequent assaults against him in the Greek Cypriot media in a
meeting with Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas
yesterday.

- Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian lashed out at Turkey for
attempting to punish the US for backing Armenian genocide claims.


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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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