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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001573

SIPDIS

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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
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2007


In Today's Papers

Dutch ING Bank Purchases OYAK Bank
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Zaman, and others: A Netherlands based
ING Group has reached an agreement with OYAK, the Turkish Armed
Forces Pension Fund, to buy OYAK bank for $2.7 billion. Under the
terms of the agreement, OYAK Bank will change its name within one
year of the completion of the sale process. Mainstream Milliyet
reports that after the sale of OYAK Bank to ING Bank, foreigners
will acquire control of 25.4% of the Turkish banking sector.
Tabloid Aksam says in return that foreign capital in the Turkish
banking sector will reach 42% after the sale of OYAK bank.

Hudson Institute Rejects Controversial Scenarios
Milliyet, Radikal, Yeni Safak, Aksam, and others: Hudson Institute
Turkey expert, Zeyno Baran, issued a written statement rejecting
allegations that disaster scenarios were discussed at a meeting
organized by the Institute in the U.S.. Mainstream Milliyet says
Baran apologized for any inconvenience caused by reports on the
scenarios that they discussed, such as the assassination of former
Constitutional Court President Tulay Tugcu. However, Milliyet was
not convinced by the denial and published the copy of the invitation
sent by Baran with her signature on it and some of the alleged
scenarios attached to it.

The NSC will Convene Today
Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, Hurriyet: The NSC will convene today to
discuss increasing terrorist incidents, election security, and
measures to be taken against PKK terrorists. Mainstream Hurriyet
reports that a high level official said that the visit to Turkey of
Iraqi PM, Maliki, as well as the establishment of a joint buffer
zone along the Iraq border will also be taken up at the meeting.
Meanwhile, mainstream Milliyet reports that a group of 105 AKP
deputies who were not nominated as candidates for July 22 general
elections, issued a declaration before the NSC meeting saying that
they promise to attend a Parliamentary session where PKK terrorism
will be discussed. Observers say that the declaration aimed to
eliminate the pretexts to the effect that Parliament cannot be
convened due to disgruntled deputies even if NSC suggests the
convening of Parliament.

Secretary Rice Urges Zebari to Cooperate with Turkey

SIPDIS
Sabah, Yeni Safak: Speaking after talks in Washington with Iraqi
Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, Secretary Rice said that the
United States and Iraqi Governments are both opposed to terrorists
using Iraqi territory for terrorist actions against neighboring
Turkey. Rice stated that the work of the trilateral security
mechanism that Turkey, the U.S., and Iraq instituted against the PKK
should be accelerated.

Meanwhile, all papers report that one soldier was killed at a
terrorist attack in the Black Sea province of Gumushane. In the
operations started after the terrorist attack, three terrorists were
killed. In Erzincan, gendarmerie stopped a suspicious truck trying
to enter the city center. In the clashes between the gendarmerie
and the 13 PKK terrorists in the truck, five soldiers were injured
and four terrorists were killed. Gendarmerie managed to capture two
terrorists, one of them injured. Security forces stopped a lynching
attempt by the people against the injured terrorist. Huge amounts
of ammunition were found in the truck. The officials said that the
terrorists might have been planning to reach the Black Sea coast for
attacks there or were planning a big attack in Erzincan; they will
be able to get information about the terrorists' action plan from
the injured terrorist.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Situation in Palestine

"About Palestine"
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in the conservative daily, Turkiye (6/20):
"Hamas gained control over Gaza and became a neighbor to its two

ANKARA 00001573 002 OF 002


major enemies, Israel and Egypt. Given the nature of accusations
exchanged between the two Palestinian groups, Al Fatah and Hamas,
such as being an Israeli agent or being a murderer of Arabs, one
wonders how they will succeed to save Palestine from Israel. The
Shiite nature of Hamas also demonstrates the Iranian influence on
Palestine. The Iranian President managed to infiltrate right next
door to Israel with Hamas' control of Gaza. We should realize that
Hamas is a terrorist organization, and like the PKK is for Turkey,
Hamas is for Israel and the US. The situation in Palestine will get
even worse if Al Qaeda manages to gain control over Palestinian
groups. The impact of such development will be big enough to
overshadow the Iraq issue. Regardless of the developments, peace in
Palestine seems like a distant future."

"Ankara's View on Palestine"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mainstream daily, Milliyet (6/20): "The two
Palestinian groups are in competition with each other as well as
hostile towards each other. The future will be shaped through the
policies of the two groups' respective leadership and also through
the policies applied by international community. Western
strategists hope to strengthen the Abbas administration by providing
aid. Once West Bank citizens feel comfortable, they hope to restart
the Middle East Peace Process. During that time, the Hamas
administration will be isolated. Turkey is once again showing that
it views Palestine differently than the Western world. Turkish
officials believe that this strategy will not produce any results
and may even backfire. A Turkish official explaining Ankara's
approach to the issue, highlighted that an isolation policy will
only increase the suffering of the people in Gaza and will
radicalize the Hamas administration even more. Ankara believes that
the solution lies in finding ways for reconciliation of the two
Palestinian sides."


TV Highlights
NTV (6 A.M.)

Domestic News

- DP Leader, Mehmet Agar, started his party's election campaign from
Aydin

- In an address to people in Agri, PM Erdogan urged people not to
vote for independent candidates because this would mean a wasting of
votes

- 4,000 people marched in Duzce yesterday to denounce terrorism

- Main opposition party, CHP, has filed a second petition for the
annulment of presidential election reforms

International News

- A truck bomb detonated outside a Shiite mosque in Baghdad
yesterday, killing 78 people and injuring more than 200

- A missile attack targeted at a militant training base killed at
least 32 pro-Taliban militants on Tuesday in a Pakistani tribal
region near the border

- President Bush and Israeli PM Olmert agreed to support Palestinian
President, Abbas, in his battle against Hamas

WILSON

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