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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001619

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2007

In Today's Papers

AKP Unveils Election Manifesto
All papers report Turkey's ruling AKP unveiled its election
manifesto on Sunday, pledging to trim the powers of the president.
AKP said in its manifesto it would change the constitution, but
through "the broadest social consensus," and would also reform the
judiciary. It also says that by 2013, the AKP aimed for Turkey's
income per capita to rise to USD 10,000 from around USD 5,000. The
manifesto notes fiscal discipline would remain tight, and envisages
single digit inflation, lower unemployment, and yearly exports of
over USD 200 billion. Papers note that some perennial issues such
as the headscarf problem, the Imam-Hatip Islamic cleric-training
schools, and immunity for parliamentarians were not mentioned in the
AKP manifesto.

Editorial Commentary on Turkish General Elections and the PKK
Yilmaz Oztuna comments in the conservative daily Milliyet: "Even
though every party leader makes speeches and pledges to people as
part of the election campaign, two issues are certain to result in
crisis after the election, as has been suggested by PM Erdogan.
First of all, electing a president is going to be the first duty of
the brand new parliament. If a parliamentary consensus on this
issue is not achieved, we will end up having a political crisis
immediately. Secondly the ongoing crisis related to PKK terrorism
will remains a fact before and after the elections. In this
election atmosphere, a cross-border operation by Turkey will create
an impact on domestic politics. Just as the outside world expects
from Turkey, it will be rational to wait until the election is over
and a new political equilibrium emerges before taking any
operational action."

Black Sea Economic Cooperation Summit (BSEC)
Vatan, Sabah, Milliyet and others report that the BSEC summit will
be held in Istanbul today, marking the 15th anniversary of the
group's establishment. President Sezer will open the meeting with
the remarks at the Ciragan Palace today. Turkey attaches great
importance to the meeting and is planning to call for increased
efforts in the areas of transport, energy, trade, environment and
combating terrorism. Russian President Putin, Azerbaijan President
Aliyev, Serbian President Tadjic, Bulgarian President Pirvanov,
Moldovan President Voronin, Ukrainian President Yuschenko and
Georgian President Shaakashvili as well as Prime Ministers of
Armenia, Greece and Albania will attend the summit.

Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah and Vatan report that Istanbul police
detained five people with suspected al-Qaeda links, one of whom was
from with Chechnya. The group is suspected of having been preparing
to launch an attack against the BSEC summit.

Weekend Rallies Protest Terrorism, PKK Attacks
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Bugun, Posta and others: Papers report
that there were rallies in Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Antalya,
Trabzon, Manisa, Mugla and Kirklareli during the weekend to protest
terrorism as PKK attacks continued claiming lives. Mainstream
Milliyet reports that despite the heat, 5,000 people gathered in
Bursa but only 100 people turned out in Istanbul.

All papers and TV channels report on a foiled suicide attack by PKK
in Tunceli. Reportedly, PKK terrorists stopped a fuel tanker truck
on the Tunceli-Ovacik highway and one terrorist, armed with
explosives, got in the vehicle with the driver. The terrorist
forced the driver to drive toward the Karsilar security post in
Tunceli. However, the guards opened fire and the tanker caught fire
and exploded killing the terrorist and the driver. Meanwhile, the
Hakkari governor said that the three PKK terrorists responsible for
the killing of a major in Yuksekova were killed by security forces.
Mainstream Milliyet reports that one village guard was killed in the
Silvan rural area by the PKK and two terrorists were arrested.


ANKARA 00001619 002 OF 002


Gul Interviewed by Greek Daily
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul
told the Greek daily Kathimerini Turkey expects the US and the Iraqi
government to take decisive steps against PKK terrorism.
"Fully-pledged support from high-level US officials including
President Bush has created expectations among Turkish people with
regard to the fight against the PKK. We have established a
bilateral negotiating mechanism with the US, but saw no concrete
steps taken against the terror organization," Gul emphasized. On
the probability of a Turkish cross-border military incursion into
northern Iraq, Gul, said "all options are on the table," stressing
his government was determined to eliminate the terror threat coming
from northern Iraq.

Editorial Commentary on Guantanamo
Zafer Atay writes in the business and political daily Dunya:
"Guantanamo base has turned into a prison camp for terrorist
suspects. Most of those prisoners were caught in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. However they have not been officially charged with crimes
since 2002 and some were even released without any further
explanation. There are 380 prisoners left currently in Gitmo. As
the military court ruled for a Canadian and a Yemeni prisoner, the
US administration's accusation was wrongful. Now the Bush
administration is worried that all Gitmo prisoners will be taken out
of American legal authority. Gitmo is a place where all human
rights are ignored and torture is used as a common practice. It
seems that the Bush administration, not only messed up the war in
Iraq and Afghanistan, but also messed up everything related to
justice."

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

- Turkish citizens living abroad are to cast their votes at border
crossings beginning today (June 25) for the upcoming July 22
parliamentary elections.

- Police in the eastern province of Van captured 47 handguns
smuggled from Iraq and meant to reach the PKK.

- Eni and Gazprom have signed a memorandum of understanding to build
a new natural gas pipeline that will transport Russian gas to Europe
across the Black Sea.

- The 10th annual international energy conference "East Meets West"
will be held in Istanbul on June 26-28 under the auspices of
President Sezer. The presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia,
the energy ministers of Egypt, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Israel,
India and China, and OPEC officials will join the meeting.

International News

- The Israeli cabinet approved the release of frozen tax funds to
Palestinian President Abbas.

- Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein's cousin also known as
"Chemical Ali," has been sentenced to death by the Iraqi High
Tribunal for atrocities against the Kurds.

- 202 members of the 435-member US House of Representatives are said
to support a bill for the recognition of Armenian genocide claims.


- Five Spanish UN peacekeepers were killed by a roadside bomb in
southern Lebanon on Sunday.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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