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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 001392

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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
MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2007


In Today's Papers

Center-Right Merger Fails
All papers report that the DYP and Anavatan (ANAP) merger failed
when the two center-right parties failed to reach compromise on the
nomination list of candidates for the general elections. ANAP did
not disband itself and current leader Erkan Mumcu was re-elected as
the party chairman on the second day of the convention. Mumcu
apologized to the Turkish people for not being able to realize the
merger and accused DYP of not keeping its promises. Weekend papers
report that Mumcu's sharp criticism of former party leader Mesut
Yilmaz caused turmoil in the party and many party members resigned
from ANAP. Meanwhile, DYP leader Agar who had planned to attend the
ANAP convention, decided not to after learning of Mumcu's decision.
DYP will retain the name of the intended new party -- the Democrat
Party (DP) - and candidates will run under that banner in the
elections.

Rice, Gates, Kurdish Leaders on Turkey-Iraq Relations
All papers report that following the warnings of Secretary Rice,
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Sunday cautioned Turkey not to

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use force in northern Iraq. "The Turks have a genuine concern with
Kurdish terrorism that takes place on Turkish soil. We have been
working with the Turks to try to help them get control of this
problem on Turkish soil," Gates said. "We have had ongoing
discussions with Turkish officials," Gates noted, adding, "General
Ralston is our envoy to Turkey and he continues to be deeply
engaged."

Meanwhile, papers report the regional Kurdish administration
president Massoud Barzani met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in
Dokan in Suleymaniye. Talabani expressed hope after the meeting
that "problems with our brothers, the Turks, will be resolved,"
adding "we do not accept interference in others' affairs and we do
not accept interference in our affairs." Barzani said they have
always called for dialogue with Turkey. "Turkey has not entered the
Iraqi side of the border. Bombs have fallen on some remote border
areas, but it's not an issue of concern. If a cross-border
operation is launched, it will become Iraq's problem," Barzani
emphasized.

Editorial Commentary on Northern Iraq, US and Turkey Relations
Washington-based Yasemin Congar writes in the mainstream daily
Milliyet: "The Bush administration considers the trilateral
mechanism between Baghdad, Ankara and Washington as the proper
platform for cooperation against the PKK in Northern Iraq. In this
context, Washington wants Turkey to maintain a high level dialogue
with the Kurdistan Regional Administration (KRA). Both Republicans
and Democrats are pursuing the same line on this issue which
envisions a solution through political dialogue between Ankara and
KRA on every issue, including Kirkuk. So the elimination of
Turkey's worries regarding Northern Iraq require close and healthy
ties between Turkey and the KRA, however it seems difficult at this
point given the current domestic political tiffs in Turkey and some
threatening remarks made by Kurdish leaders. Yet the fact of the
matter is not only the US and Kurds but also the Iraqi government
itself is asking Turkey to maintain close ties with the KRA. The
Iraqi gjQQ4"NV[0| more a venue for expressing fury against PKK terrorism and

ANKARA 00001392 002 OF 002


the government for not solving the problem. The US should realize
that following the general elections, the political scene will not
be the same as before. Popular fury should be taken into account
because there is a tendency to equate the PKK with the US. The US
currently emerges as a force which helps the ruling AKP as an
example of moderate Islam and watches out for the PKK in northern
Iraq. None of those political approaches will do any good for the
US. Flirting with Islamism and courting terror are dead ends for US
interests after all."

Osman Ocalan Missing
Vatan, Cumhuriyet and Aksam report that Osman Ocalan, the brother of
Abdullah Ocalan and a founding member of the PKK, has been missing
in Iraq for one week. Vatan and Aksam speculate Ocalan went to Iran
for medical treatment but was taken into custody by Iranian
officials. Cumhuriyet claims Ocalan wanted to flee to Iran after
hearing he would be handed over to Turkey, but was captured at the
border. The paper expects Ocalan to be handed over to Turkey by
Barzani as a "gesture" to reduce strains with Turkey before the
upcoming general elections.

Mesrob II Remarks on the Assassination of Hrant Dink
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that in an interview with Der Spiegel's
Internet website, Patriarch of Turkish Armenians, Mesrob II said
that those behind the assassination of Hrant Dink are being
protected and he will take the issue to TGS Chief General Buyukanit
soon. Mesrob added that the Armenians in Istanbul are continuously
threatened and their request for security measures from the Istanbul
Governor's office was rejected with the recommendation that they
hire private security companies.

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

- Turkey-EU troika meeting will take place in Ankara with the
participation of German and Portuguese foreign ministers and EU
Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.

- The Turkish Parliament has approved a bill that would increase the
powers of the police.

- The Turkish Parliament recessed on Sunday, June 3, to convene five
days after the High Election Board announces the results of the
general elections to be held on July 22.

- On Monday, Land Forces Commander Ilker Basbug is to kick off an
official visit to the Chinese capital of Beijing.

International News

- President Putin warned that US plans to build a missile defense
system in eastern Europe would force Moscow to target its missiles
against Europe.

- Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has invited the foreign ministers of
Jordan and Egypt to visit Israel for talks on an Arab plan offering
Israel a peace deal.

- More than 300 police were injured during protests in the German
city of Rostock on Saturday against the upcoming Group of Eight (G8)
summit in Germany.

- Fourteen American soldiers were killed in three days in Iraq, the
US military said Sunday.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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