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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
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RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001229

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
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2007


In Today's Papers

Opposition's Baykal, Sezer Attend Republic Rally in Samsun
All papers report tens of thousands of Turks rallied in the streets
of the Black Sea city of Samsun on Sunday in support of the secular
republic ahead of the July 22 parliamentary elections. Deniz Baykal
and Zeki Sezer, the leaders of the main opposition CHP and the
smaller left-wing DSP, attended the demonstration without addressing
the crowd themselves. "Our people asked us to unite and we did; now
we are expecting unity displayed at the ballot box," CHP leader
Baykal told the press. The crowds, chanting "Turkey is secular and
will remain secular," carried Turkish flags and posters of Ataturk.

Like in previous rallies, women played a leading role in the rally
in Samsun, papers report.

Baser May Quit in June
Hurriyet, Sabah and Star report Turkey's counter-terrorism
coordinator Edip Baser Sunday told all-news broadcaster NTV, "We
expect a forward step from the US regarding the PKK. If we don't
see it, I personally think that there's no sense in pushing the
mechanism any further." Mainstream Sabah reports Baser said he will
resign in June after seeing that "last move." The paper speculates
the last move Baser anticipated could be the handing over of a
senior PKK figure to Turkey, a joint strike against the PKK in Mount
Kandil, US operations against the PKK, or the cutting of the
financial flow to the organization from Europe.

Emin Pazarci writes the nationalist Bugun: "The Turkish army has
been seriously concerned over the PKK in Northern Iraq. During a
recent high level meeting with US officials, Turkey reacted harshly
when Americans complained that Turkey was being unfair to them.
Turkish officials apologized saying, "Imagine if Turkish troops in
Afghanistan supported the Taliban. What would you think and how
would you feel about that? That's exactly how we feel about US
activities in Iraq." Moreover, Turkish troops are currently
engaging in military operations in northern Iraq. PKK targets are
hit via artillery. Turkish troops are stationed within 8 to 10
kilometers of the border, some of them permanently. As for the
Americans there, they are just watching and photographing the
developments. Recently a Fox TV crew visited the site and filmed
the areas, formerly controlled by the PKK and destroyed by Turkish
army. The conclusion is this: a military operation can be conducted
against the PKK in northern Iraq despite US objections, and it is
happening."

Turkey's Election Board to decide if Kurdish MPs can Run in
Elections
Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report former
Kurdish lawmakers Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak said Turkey's High
Election Board (YSK) is to decide whether five former deputies of
the banned Democracy Party (DEP), convicted in 1991 of supporting
terrorism, will be allowed to run as independent candidates in the
July 22 general elections. Turkey's main Kurdish party DTP chairman
Ahmet Turk told CNN-Turk over the weekend that Kurdish candidates
have to be represented in parliament, "the place where problems are
solved." "Incidents similar to those that took place in 1991 will
not happen if we enter the parliament," Turk said commenting on the
crisis that was created by the former DEP MPs when they took the
oath in Kurdish during the swearing in ceremony in the parliament.
Turk stressed, "We will adopt a mature and not a chauvinist
approach." Turk said YSK will rule whether former lawmaker Leyla
Zana and her colleagues will run in the elections or not.

Report Predicts Four Parties in Parliament
Mainstream Vatan carried on Saturday an elections forecast in a
report released by CitiGroup, warning foreign investors to prepare
for a coalition government in a four-party parliament. The report
predicts the distribution of votes among parties as follows: AKP
37.0 percent, CHP+DSP 20.2, DYP+ANAP 13.1, MHP 10.1, GP 6.4, DTP

ANKARA 00001229 002 OF 002


4.3, Others 8.8, and Undecided 16.9.

Editorial Commentary on Wolfowitz, Blair
Ali H. Aslan writes in the Islamist-oriented daily Zaman: "President
Bush must be feeling very bad nowadays. No, not because of the
suffering he caused for Iraqis and Americans, but because of the
fate of his two beloved friends, Tony Blair and Paul Wolfowitz, both
of whom are leaving. Interestingly enough, the timing of
Wolfowitz's resignation coincided with the visit of Tony Blair to
the White House who was there to bid farewell to President Bush. In
sum, two main figures of the Iraq war will fade from history, and I
should add, not with a record of success. President Bush never
wants to hear a word of criticism against Blair or Wolfowitz, even
though these two misled him. This is simply because President Bush
even today is unaware of being misled. He maintains his style of
unilateral decision making and pursues an attitude which leaves no
room for any cross questioning. That unilateral attitude was very
obvious in the Wolfowitz case as well. When the World Bank scandal
occurred, Wolfowitz avoided hearing any criticism against himself
while the White House continued to back him up. There is a lesson
to learn: he who acts unilaterally or ignores laws and regulations,
using the end goals as an excuse, is doomed to face colossal
failure. President Bush was dreaming of being a world emperor and
he is now even unable to use his clout in his party. He became an
unpopular lame duck. His primary team is dissolving, as Wolfowitz
and Blair are the last in the chain. Let's hope that these lessons
are also taken by neo-cons in Turkey who dream of ruling Turkey with
in a fascist style."

TV News:
(NTV, 8 A.M.)
Domestic News

- Turkey-Greece natural gas pipeline will be inaugurated on July 14
with the participation of Turkish and Greek Prime Ministers Erdogan
and Karamanlis.

- The main opposition CHP MP Sezai Onder died of lung cancer on
Sunday.

- Sixty-one illegal migrants have been captured in the eastern
province of Van over the weekend.

- The latest Turkish letter of intent submitted to the IMF shows
that electricity prices might be increased soon.

International News

- Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said the Cyprus issue
cannot be solved in 2007, adding a new window of opportunity might
be opened in 2008.

- Former US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said Iraq's main
creditors, including Saudi Arabia, will not write off billions of
dollars in debt unless the country moves forward on national
reconciliation, economic reform, and improving security.

- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned Russia
not to try to create divisions within the European Union.

- Six US soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were killed by a roadside
bomb in west of Baghdad on Saturday.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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