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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001470

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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, JUNE 11, 2007


In Today's Papers

Turkish Leaders Condemn PKK Terrorism
All papers report that thousands of mourners, including the chief of
the Turkish General Staff (TGS) Yasar Buyukanit, Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul, the opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal, and high
ranking bureaucrats attended the funeral of gendarme Private Kadir
Yalcin, held at Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara. Private Yalcin was
killed last week in a PKK landmine attack.

In a strongly-worded statement released after the killing of three
soldiers in Sirnak, President Sezer vowed to take all necessary
steps to eradicate terror, stressing that Turkey's rightful struggle
will continue until the last terrorist is eliminated. Prime
Minister Erdogan called on opposition parties, warning against
politicizing funerals of slain soldiers.

On Saturday, three Turkish soldiers were killed when PKK terrorists
remotely detonated a landmine in the province of Sirnak near the
Iraqi border. A major, a lieutenant colonel and a private were
killed when the landmine went off as their military vehicle was
returning from an operation.

In the past month, Turkey has lost 42 of its people to the PKK
terrorism, 16 of whom were civilians.

Gul on the PKK, Northern Iraq
In an interview on the front page of mainstream Hurriyet, Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul says Turkey will take all risks in its fight
against the outlawed PKK, and denies that there is a lack of
communication between the military and the government. Gul claims
he has discussed Turkey's plans regarding all scenarios, including a
partition of Iraq, in a recent meeting with the chief of the Turkish
General Staff (TGS), Yasar Buyukanit. Gul adds the newly
established "Iraq Working Group" under his leadership, has been
facilitating regular meetings between the TGS and Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA.) The FM also notes a recent warning by Buyukanit to
the Iraqi authorities that another act of harassment against the
Turkish forces in northern Iraq would be "retaliated in kind" was
authorized by the Turkish government. "I hope that the message is
taken," says Gul.

Turkey-Greece Joint Survey Measures Threat Perception in the Two
Countries
Sabah, Radikal, Bugun Posta: According to a joint survey by
Turkey's Bilgi University and Greece's Political Research Institute
(KPEE), when asked who is the biggest threat to Turkey, 35% of Turks
answered the US, and 25.8% said a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq.
On the other hand, seventy-seven percent of Greeks consider Turkey
as the biggest threat and while only 5.6 worry about Albania. The
same survey shows that 63.1% of Turks support EU membership while at
the same time 50% believe that the EU's main goal is to divide
Turkey.

Iraqi FM Zabari Calls on Turkey for Dialog, Al-Sadr Threatens
Turkey
Hurriyet, Sabah, Milliyet, Zaman and others: Following the
diplomatic note given to Turkey by Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister
Hosyar Zabari, in an interview with the BBC Arabic service, said
that his country is ready to hold talks with Turkey to discuss
Turkish concerns about PKK activities. Meanwhile, on a PUK internet
site, Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada Al-Sadr said that he was against a
possible cross-border operation by Turkey, and that in case of an
operation launched by Turkey, he would defend the Kurdish people
against Turks.

Editorial Commentary on US-Russia
Semih Idiz wrote in the mainstream daily Milliyet (6/11): "Putin
said to the US that American missile defense systems against an
Iranian threat should be deployed in Turkey instead of Central

ANKARA 00001470 002 OF 002


Europe. This suggestion can only be considered an effort to
provoke. Even though the 'threat from Iran' is justification for
the need for a missile system, the former Soviet controlled
countries want them deployed as a security building measure against
Russia. Being aware of this, Moscow is trying to handle the issue
with a Cold War-era perspective and Putin's suggestion regarding
Turkey is a clear example of this. Moscow wants to slow down
Washington's missile shield plans and to damage Turkish-American
relations. Putin is counting on the growing anti-Americanism in
Turkey as well as the differences in Iran policy between Ankara and
Washington. He is also aware of the fact that the Turkish military,
behind closed doors, is talking about a possibility of establishing
a strategic relationship with Moscow and giving up on Washington.
Turkey's strategic location was an advantage for Ankara during the
Cold War era. There are signs, however, that nowadays this
advantage may be becoming a curse for Turkey."

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

- A blast caused by a percussion bomb outside a store in the
Bakirkoy neighborhood of Istanbul wounded 14 people on Sunday,
police said, amid increased worries about PKK violence.

- NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will pay a visit to
Ankara June 11 to discuss the situation in Kosovo with Turkish
leaders. De Hoop Scheffer will meet Prime Minister Erdogan, Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and TGS chief
General Yasar Buyukanit on Tuesday.

- More than 165 candidates, including seven supported by the Kurdish
DTP to run independently in July 22 parliamentary elections, have
been vetoed by the High Election Board.

- A former prostitute who wanted to run for a seat in parliament but
was thrown off the election rolls by the High Election Board said
she will fight the Board's decision.

International News

- The convoy of Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Saadettin Ergec was
attacked on the Baghdad-Kirkuk road. Ergec was unharmed in the
attack, the third in the last 10 days.

- Turkish Cyprus leader Mehmet Ali Talat has accused Nicosia of
blocking the applications of Greek Cypriots to the commission
established to settle property disputes in the north part of the
divided island.

- Greek daily Elefterotipia reports Athens is to open a consulate in
the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.

- President Bush said in Albania that Kosovo would become
independent even if diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving its status
in the United Nations fail.
WILSON

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