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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001795

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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


FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007

In Today's Papers

Bombs in Izmir, Istanbul Defused
All papers report Turkish police, acting on a tip off from a scrap
dealer, found a bomb in a tin box in the Bornova district of Izmir.
The police defused the 30-kg explosive minutes before it went off.
The bomb was placed on a road used by military vehicles. Meanwhile,
police also defused a pipe bomb found in the courtyard of the
Kucukcekmece district governor's office in Istanbul. Several papers
say the timed bombs which would have killed dozens if they had gone
off were reminiscent of the Hudson Institute scenarios on turmoil in
Turkey before the forthcoming July 22 elections.

In a related story, Zaman reports security forces have seized 794 kg
of explosives in the first six months of this year.

Party Leaders Involved in Heated Debates in Run Up to Elections
All papers report tensions escalated among political party leaders
in the run up to the July 22 general elections. Prime Minister
Erdogan criticized CHP leader Deniz Baykal for his inconsistency
with regard to the opposition leader's statements on the election of
Turkey's new president. "Baykal has reached the age of 70, but he
lacks political ethics," Erdogan said, stressing CHP would be
"finished" after the elections. Baykal fired back by saying Erdogan
could not be trusted, and criticized the AKP leader for closing the
doors of dialogue during the presidential election process in April,
and now saying he was seeking compromise on the same issue. MHP
Chairman Devlet Bahceli said during a television interview that if
his party takes power, he will reinstate capital punishment for war
crimes and terror crimes. On the possibility of a cross-border
incursion into northern Iraq, Bahceli said Turkey should first
explain the situation to the US and then occupy Mount Kandil if
Americans decline to back Turkey.

Turkish Businessmen Want Single Party Government
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports on its front page many leading
businessmen in Istanbul said a coalition government emerging out of
July 22 ballot would be "disastrous" for Turkey. Businessmen said
the recent single-party government in Turkey managed to lure USD 20
billion in direct foreign investment, that the business community
grew three-fold, and that exports and gross national product have
soared. They stressed Turkey needs a strong single party government
if it wanted to continue growing.

Turkish Armenians to Back AKP in Elections
Aksam and Cumhuriyet report Turkish Armenian journalist Etyen
Mahcupyan said in an interview with a weekly magazine that about 60
percent of the Armenians living in Turkey would vote for the AKP,
and that there was also support the independent leftist candidate
Professor Baskin Oran in Istanbul. Mahcupyan said Armenians favored
the AKP for working for the return of non-Muslim foundations' assets
confiscated by the state while the CHP and MHP wanted to block the
return.

Editorial Commentary on US Withdrawal from Iraq
Sami Kohen observes in the mainstream Milliyet: "Many observers
believe that President Bush will never decide on withdrawal until
the Iraqi Government gains the control, domestic clashes come to an
end and security is established in the country. Because of its
energy resources and regional strategic importance, Iraq is not a
place for Washington to give up on that easily. That is why even
the people supporting the pull-out, believe that the US military
presence in Iraq and of course the political power should be
continued somehow. The US has vast interests in the region and also
the US is aware of the possible regional problems that will occur
after the US withdrawal. Ankara, right from the beginning, wants
the US invasion to come to an orderly end and supports Iraq's
territorial integrity and national unity. Turkish officials are
concerned about the chaotic situation in Iraq after a disorderly

ANKARA 00001795 002 OF 002


troop withdrawal. In a chaotic situation, Northern Iraq could
separate itself from the central government and the Kurdish
establishment in the north could be strengthen. There is one other
possibility: during the pull-out, the US might deploy some of its
troops in the safer Northern Iraq. Such a development could limit
Turkey's intervention in Iraq. However, a full strength US
withdrawal could give Turkey more freedom to intervene in Iraq."

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Council of State (Danistay) has turned down an appeal, saying an
investigation against Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir for
distributing posters and invitations in the Kurdish language will
move forward.

- A Turkish jetfighter on a training flight crashed in the
northwestern city of Balikesir on Thursday while it was landing.
The two pilots ejected themselves and survived the crash.

- The second International Orthodox Youth Conference will be held in
Istanbul on July 14-16 with the participation of 788 clerics and
laypeople from 37 countries.

International News

- The Iraqi government has sent a delegation to Kirkuk to see the
preparations for a referendum concerning the status of the oil-rich
city.

- Remains of thirteen Turkish Cypriots who were executed and buried
in a mass grave by Greek Cypriot armed groups after they were taken
prisoners in Alaminyo village in July 1974 were laid to rest with a
military funeral Thursday.

- Turkish Cyprus leader Mehmet Ali Talat has annulled his meeting
with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos in reaction to
Nicosia's blocking of a friendly game between Britain's Luton Town
and Cetinkaya soccer teams in Turkish Cyprus.

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Turkish groups that
boycotted a high-profile meeting to bolster the integration of
immigrants "cannot give the government an ultimatum."

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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