Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007
In Today's Papers
No Compromise on Alliance Reached by Center-Left Parties
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Zaman and others: Talks on a party
alliance ahead of the July 22 elections between the main left-center
parties CHP and DSP hit a bottleneck because of disagreements over
the distribution of seats in parliament. Mainstream Sabah says
while DSP is asking for at least 20 seats, CHP believes that 10 or
12 seats would be sufficient. Because of the disagreement, the two
parties failed to make progress in their talks on unification.
Gearing up for Elections
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports that a poll conducted by ANAR
shows that the ruling AKP will get 38.3 %, possible left-leaning
coalition CHP-DSP 14.7 %, right-leaning coalition party DP 7.9%, and
nationalist MHP 5.5 % of the votes in the upcoming elections.
Mainstream Vatan, on the other hand, gives front page coverage to a
survey conducted by Estima polling company. According to this
survey four parties will pass the 10% election threshold: AKP 29.6
%, CHP 19.2 %, DP 15.3 % and MHP 10.3 %.
Meanwhile, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that the European
Parliament will be sending a delegation to Turkey prior to the
elections to observe the treatment of Kurdish candidates, mainly in
the southeastern part of the country.
Editorial Opinion: Turkish Elections and the US
Haluk Ulman writes in the business and political daily Dunya:
"Stories about the US position on the upcoming Turkish elections
have started to appear in the press, with the main focus on
speculation as to which party the US will support. One would think
the elections will be held in the US, not in Turkey. The US is
undoubtedly the most powerful country in the world so its views
regarding Turkey's elections are important to know, but believing
that the US will have an influence over the voters' ballots is going
overboard. Any country's domestic politics are shaped by internal
dynamics. In Turkey, American neo-cons look for a Turkish
government free from conflict with Washington's interests. The
ruling AKP seems to be the only one in that sense which stays away
from nationalistic rhetoric. In other words, there is no reason at
the moment for Washington to look for alternate governments in
Turkey. In any case, Iraq will be the main issue for the period
ahead regarding the future shape of Turkish-American relations."
Operations against the PKK
Mainstream Hurriyet and Milliyet report that Turkish security forces
continued their operations against the PKK in the southeast, mainly
in the rural parts of Sirnak Province, and Cudi and Gabar Mountains.
Milliyet says that Turkish troops now control the routes used by
PKK terrorists to enter Turkey from Northern Iraq.
Ambassador Wilson Addresses Anti-Terrorism Conference in Ankara
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, CNN-Turk, Kanal 24 and some others
cover Ambassador Wilson's remarks at the opening of the "Countering
Ideological Support for Terrorism" conference sponsored by the
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the
NATO-Russia Council and the NATO Centre of Excellence - Defense
Against Terrorism Center in Ankara. Milliyet quotes the Ambassador
as saying that the US "supports the [current] operations against the
PKK" and is "trying to find other ways to help." Cumhuriyet reports
the Ambassador said the PKK is the "biggest terror problem facing
Turkey" and that the US is "working jointly with Turkey to put an
end to the PKK presence in northern Iraq."
NTV, 7.00 A.M.
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- Lawyer Turgut Kazan filed a suit against the newly appointed
Justice Minister Fahri Kasirga saying that he did not meet the
constitutional requirements for the position.
- Another rally in support of secularism will be held in Samsun on
- Iranian President Ahmedinejad said that Iran will retaliate if the
US strikes his country.
- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Moscow to improve
strained relations with Russia.