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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000644

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
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2007


In Today's Papers

Leaders Call for Common Sense as Turkey Prepares for Nevruz
All papers report on the eve of the Nevruz Festival. President
Sezer called Tuesday for "common sense" for all, warning against
"provocations" during the festival. "The importance of friendship,
love, and tolerance is emphasized with Nevruz," Sezer said. Prime
Minister Erdogan told his party group meeting yesterday, "Nevruz is
a day of joy. Those who want to turn it into a day of mourning will
not be able to disrupt our brotherhood," calling on all to "be
careful." Papers report the website of the Turkish General Staff
(TGS) carries, for the first time, a message for the Nevruz
celebrations, reading, "Happy Nevruz holiday, we wish it will bring
peace and love." Papers also report the Interior Ministry warned
all 81 Turkish provinces against provocations, ordering the
authorities to allow only Turkish flags during celebrations. The
Diyarbakir Governor's Office has allowed celebrations in the city
center, banning, however, placards and posters other than the
Turkish flag. Papers say Kurdish party HAKPAR was denied permission
to hold a rally in the city, and lawyer Eren Keskin of the Human
Rights Association (IHD) was detained when she came to the city to
participate in celebrations.

Donors' Contribution to Iraq Low
The Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports the fifth donors' committee
meeting of International Iraq Rebuilding Fund, which ended in
Istanbul on Tuesday, did not produce the expected results. Iraq's
Planning and Development Minister Ali Baban said they could only
collect USD 10 million from Iraq's neighbors, far below the expected
amount of USD 40 million. Baban stressed Iraq's neighbors should do
more.

Editorial Commentary on Iraq War Anniversary
Sami Kohen writes in the mainstream daily Milliyet: "It is
difficult to imagine and understand that the US, in its superpower
capacity, failed in Iraq. Even though the military portion of the
Iraq operation went successfully, the political situation went just
the opposite and led the country to the point of civil war. One of
the primary reasons for this failure stems from the fact that the US
could not comprehend Iraq. As author of the book Understanding
Iraq, Professor William Polk noted the US shaped a strategy for Iraq
without understanding the country's characteristics. The US either
failed to comprehend the social, historical and cultural nuances of
Iraq or got them in the wrong context. There has been a chain of
mistakes during the last four years, including the dissolving Iraqi
army, torture scenes from prisons, oversight of sectarian
differences and many others. At the current stage, the Iraq exit
strategy does not necessarily resemble the exit from Vietnam. It
has to be a safe and sound way formed by United Nations."

Mete Cubukcu writes in the leftist daily Birgun: "After four years
of occupation, Iraq has reached the 'words are not enough' point.
The consequences of the Iraq occupation will definitely not be
limited to Iraq and will spread to the entire region. Nobody can
make an assessment about Iraq's future any longer. And the US is
completely helpless -- the most recent plan as put out by President
Bush has already collapsed. Not only is the plan collapsing but the
US army is collapsing as well. The US army has never been so cruel
in its history. The Iraq occupation is like a polluted environment
which covers all of us."

Turkey Won't Sign Kyoto
The liberal Radikal reports Ankara responded to the EU pressure to
sign the Kyoto Protocol by saying that if it is a party to the
agreement, Turkey will have to close its coal-operated power plants,
which will deal a huge blow to economy. "In order to change our
energy policy and turn to renewable energy sources, Turkey needs USD
20 billion," Ankara told the EU through the Turkish Environment
Ministry. The ministry data says the Turkish annual per capita of

ANKARA 00000644 002 OF 003


carbon dioxide emissions is 3.3 tons, far below the 11.1 tons of
OECD members and 9 tons of EU countries. Turkey, however, with its
population of 70 million, ranks 13th among the countries with the
highest green gas emissions, and tops the list of the countries
which have increased gas emissions the most, says Radikal.

Increased Tension in Cyprus between Government and Military
Sabah, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, Radikal and others: The tension
between Turkish Cypriot "Prime Minister" Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the
Turkish Peacekeeping troops' commander General Hayri Kivrikoglu
increased after the General criticized the "PM" for not singing the
Turkish national anthem at his Republican Turk's Party congress and
asked the "PM" to prove his Turkishness, at a reception the other
day. In a televised speech yesterday, Soyer described the incident
as a reflection of the election period in Turkey and said "nobody
can doubt our Turkishness, we are Kemalists." Turkish-Cypriot
Opposition Party, the National Unity Party' (UBP) chairman Tahsin
Ertugruloglu said "it was a sad incident but if you are a Turkish
Cypriot party, you must explain why you did not sing the national
anthem."

Conflict between Higher Council of Judges-Prosecutors and Justice
Ministry; YOK and Education Ministry
Radikal, Milliyet, Vatan, Cumhuriyet and others: The Higher Council
of Judges and Public Prosecutors (HSYK) could not convene yesterday
as Justice Minister Cemil Cicek and the Undersecretary did not
attend the meeting. HSYK acting chairman Mahmut Acar accused
Minister Cicek of preventing the activities of the council and
intervening in the judiciary.

The Education Ministry yesterday criticized the Board of Higher
Education's (YOK) attempt to appoint rectors to 15 newly established
universities, claiming that doing so would violate the Constitution
and related laws.

TV Highlights
NTV (6 A.M.)

Domestic News

- Turkish military sources confirmed deployment of troops to the
east and southeast, but rejected reports claiming cross-border
incursions into northern Iraq.

- The head of the local DTP branch and eight other party members
have been taken into custody in security searches in the western
city of Manisa.

- Today AKP provincial leaders will go to the party headquarters in
Ankara to express their preferences regarding the election of a new
president.

- Two Turkish soldiers have been wounded in a landmine blast in the
southeastern province of Bitlis.

International News

- Egyptian President Mubarak will pay an official visit to Turkey on
Wednesday to discuss regional matters and natural gas trade between
Egypt and Turkey.

- Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat accused Greek Cypriot
leader Tassos Papadopoulos of attempting to block the implementation
of the direct trade protocol between the EU and Turkish Cyprus.

- Students in Britain could be banned from wearing full-face Muslim
veils for security or educational reasons under recent government
guidelines.

ANKARA 00000644 003 OF 003


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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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