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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2007


In Today's Papers

Sezer Vetoes Constitutional Reforms, will Call Referendum
All papers report President Sezer on Monday vetoed a plan that would
cut the time needed to hold a constitutional referendum to 45 days
from 120 days. Sezer submitted the proposal on direct election of
the president to referendum after the parliament overrode an earlier
presidential veto. The ruling AKP government wants to hold a
referendum on constitutional reforms on July 22, the same day as the
parliamentary election. Turkish Parliament, now in recess ahead of
the election, can override the veto by approving the bill a second
time unchanged. However, Prime Minister Erdogan has left off the
election list at least half of his ruling AKP MPs, making it
difficult to rally enough votes to pass the law. If the
Constitutional Court rejects the annulment request, the referendum
will be held on October 15, after a new parliament elects a new
president.

Hudson Institute's 'Doomsday Scenarios' Cause Unease in Turkey
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak
and others report the continuing reaction of Turkish officials to a
weekend brain-storming at the Hudson Institute in Washington that
discussed 'disaster scenarios' for Turkey, including the
assassination of former Constitutional Court chairwoman Tulay Tugcu,
a PKK suicide attack in downtown Istanbul, and a major Turkish
military incursion into northern Iraq. Tugcu expressed sadness over
the inclusion of her name in such scenarios, stressing she expects
the Turkish officials who were reportedly there to make a statement.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul rejected reports that he said Turkish
generals should have walked out of the controversial meeting. Prime
Minister Erdogan said the Hudson Institute gathering was 'utter
nonsense.' Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said Turkish
participants in the meeting should have notified their supervisors
about the proceeding of the meeting, and asked the Turkish General
Staff (TGS) for a statement.

Zeyno Baran, Turkey expert at the Hudson Institute, told Turkish
televisions Monday that scenarios regarding Turkish politics 'were
not discussed' at the meeting, stressing the session aimed to avoid
a rising of tensions between Turkey and the US because of the
terrorist PKK. Baran also apologized to Tulay Tugcu for the
misunderstanding caused because of warped press reports.

Editorial Commentary on Hudson Institute Turkey Session
Hasan Cemal commented in the mainstream Milliyet (6/19): "What was
discussed at the Hudson Institute meeting was not a plan, but a
scenario. Knowing that these think-tank organizations' main
responsibility is brain-storming to produce scenarios, I wasn't
concerned about it at all. And I just can't understand why
everybody got so upset about the scenario while there are so many
terrorist incidents, political murders, assassinations taking place
in Turkey. During the last year or more, as the presidential
election process began, there have been countless terrorist
incidents and violent actions. Moreover, haven't scenarios about
cross-border operations into Northern Iraq became routine
discussions in Turkey? What disturbed me more than the Hudson
Institute scenarios was the hand grenade found in a house in
Istanbul, in which some retired military personnel who are members
of the Kuvayi Milliye association were involved. The government
should deal with these hand grenades for the sake of the future of
the democratic state of law, rather than hypothetical scenarios."

Maliki to Visit Turkey in June
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak
and others report
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has accepted an invitation from
his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan to visit Ankara to discuss
the security situation in northern Iraq. Leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet claims during a Sunday meeting with Derya Kanbay,
Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad, Maliki did not raise the issue of

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the PKK and rather covertly criticized the AKP for extending backing
to the radical Sunni groups in Iraq. The Iraqi PM did not give a
clear response to the invitation, and is watching the reaction of
the Kurds, according to Cumhuriyet. The Islamist-oriented Yeni
Safak says Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) sources believe Maliki may
visit Turkey on June 30.

Turkish Prosecutor Launches Investigation against Barzani
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak
and others report a prosecutor in Diyarbakir launched an
investigation into Masoud Barzani, the president of the regional
Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, for violating Turkish Penal
Code Article 77 by promoting crimes against humanity, providing
logistic support to a terrorist organization, and attempting to
disrupt the unity of the state and nation. The 'Ataturk Thought
Association' (ADD,) a Turkish nationalist organization, has applied
to the prosecutors in Diyarbakir, calling for the seizure of assets,
including property and bank accounts, that Barzani and his family
may own in Turkey.

Poll: AKP, CHP-DSP, MHP to Enter Parliament
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak carries a public opinion survey
commissioned by Raymond James, a brokerage firm in Istanbul, which
predicts that in general elections, the AKP will receive 45.3
percent of votes with CHP-DSP alliance 20.2 and MHP 16.1, after
distribution of 17.5 percent of indecisive voters. The poll expects
40 independent candidates to win seats in the parliament. The
survey was conducted by Konda Co. on June 9-10 in 32 provinces with
3,605 people.

Editorial Commentary on the Middle East Situation
Ilter Turkmen observed in the mainstream Hurriyet (6/19):
"Nightmare scenarios are being realized speedily in the Middle East.
The latest drama in the Middle East is the division of Palestine.
The developments in Gaza hold danger for the whole region. Egypt
and Jordan are concerned about the HAMAS presence at their border.
There are the clashes between the Lebanese army and a terrorist
organization settled in a Palestinian immigrant camp.
Unfortunately, the innocent Palestinians in the camp are suffering
from these clashes. The situation in Iraq is worse than ever. The
US troop increases did not improve the situation. On the contrary,
sectarian clashes increased, with more lives lost and the danger for
a divided Iraq increased. During a problematic period in the Middle
East, Turkey's stable democracy has a vital importance for the US
and the EU. That is why the US and the EU should realize the
serious danger PKK terrorism poses for Turkish democracy. "

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Turkish security forces killed four PKK terrorists in separate
operations in eastern provinces of Siirt and Sirnak on Monday.

- Energy Minister Hilmi Guler has failed to make a deal with
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan for transport of natural gas to European
markets via Turkey.

- A Turkish Cypriot parliamentary delegation visits London for
meetings in the British Parliament.

- Volume of trade between Turkey and China is expected to amount to
USD 50 billion.

International News

- Tens of thousands of Iraqis flee to Jordan and Syria every month.

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- The Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned the Taliban suicide
bomb attack on a police bus which killed at least 35 in Kabul.

- Despite the efforts of the Cypriot government, the number of
applications to the Turkish Cypriot commission for property disputes
increased.

- Tony Blair has strongly defended intervening in Iraq for the final
time as British Prime Minister before parliament.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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