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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001861

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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 20, 2007

In Today's Papers

Election Campaign Heats Up
All papers: Mainstream Vatan reports that as election day
approaches, the party leaders become "harsher than ever,"
highlighting the three main party leaders' remarks. AKP leader PM
Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the Parliament "won't be able to
do any business if both MHP and DTP win seats;" main opposition
party CHP leader Deniz Baykal said "people who were close to the PM
in the past, are now attacking Turkish soldiers;" and MHP leader
Devlet Bahceli said "AKP is the reason Turkish society is burning --
under AKP rule, every national value was looted and destroyed."
Mainstream Milliyet reports that addressing 10,000 people in
Isparta, DP leader Mehmet Agar said that if he comes to power, he
would have terrorism under control in six month and end it
completely in one year, vowing to leave politics if he does not
achieve these goals.

Meanwhile, papers report that 200 foreign journalists applied to the
Prime Ministry's Press and Publication Directorate for accreditation
to follow the elections. This number, reportedly, was only 100 for
the 2002 elections.

Turkey-Iraq Relations
Radikal, Milliyet, Sabah, Yeni Safak and others: Liberal Radikal
reports that Turkey gave a diplomatic note to Iraq asking for the
extradition of PKK terrorist Riza Altun to Turkey. In return, Iraq
presented Turkey with a diplomatic note to end military massing at
the border and to end artillery fire into Northern Iraq. Milliyet
reports that the Iraqi government's spokesman Ali Debbag condemned
Turkey for the Turkish military's recent artillery fire into the
Dohuk region in Northern Iraq.

Editorial Comment: The US Image in Turkey and Action against the
PKK
Columnist Fehmi Koru discusses how the US image in Turkey is
impacted by its failure to take any concrete action against the PKK.
In the Islamist-leaning daily Yeni Safak, he writes: "Regardless of
the reasons, the fact of the matter is that the PKK has weapons from
the American army. Debating the reasons will not do any good. It
may be true that American army deserters were selling those weapons.
Or it may also be true that the Iraqi administration in the north
were giving them to the PKK members. No excuse, no explanation, no
reason is good enough to soften the fury in people's minds. They
can't get beyond the fact that PKK terror against Turkey is carried
out with American weapons. Washington does not seem to realize the
sensitivities in Turkey, even though the US considers restoring its
image a high priority. There is a bureau at the State Department
under Karen Hughes which spends hundreds of million dollars to
create sympathy toward the US. The rate of anti-Americanism in
Turkey is alarmingly high, but the US can reverse this trend so
easily if it really wants to [by taking concrete action against the
PKK]. However there is no sign of that happening. There are
opinions coming from experts on Turkish-American relations who
believe that Americans are not considering tangible action against
the PKK at the moment because it may work to the benefit of AKP.
Therefore such efforts may have been postponed until after the
Turkish elections. That means Washington is not taking an action
against the most sensitive issue, the PKK, just because it may
create a political gain to the AKP in the elections. The Turkish
government should have taken note of that."


Diyarbakir Prosecutor's Investigation into former DEP Deputy Leyla
Zana
Sabah, Milliyet, Zaman and others: Diyarbakir Chief Public
Prosecutor started an investigation into former DEP deputy Leyla
Zana for her remark that "our leader is in Imrali" [referring to
jailed PKK leader Ocalan], during a speech in Diyarbakir at a rally

ANKARA 00001861 002 OF 002


organized for Independent candidates who were supported by DTP.

Meanwhile, Milliyet and Zaman report that speaking in Bingol to
support the region's independent candidate, Leyla Zana referred to
the southeast of Turkey as "Kurdistan."

Greece Buys Electricity from Turkey
Radikal: The Turkish Energy Minister and Greek Development Minister
have signed a barter trade agreement in Ankara. As a first step of
the agreement Greece will buy electricity from Turkey in July and
August. Turkish Minister Guler also announced that the natural gas
pipeline project between Turkey and Greece is about to be concluded,
while Greek Minister Sioufas added he hoped to extend the pipeline
through Italy in the future.

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News
In a meeting with journalists in Kayseri, FM Gul complained that
President Sezer was delaying the appointment of a new Secretary
General for the National Security Council

87 people have been arrested in connection with election protests
held in Ankara on Tuesday.


International News

Russia announced that it was expelling four British Diplomats over
the murder case of a former KGB agent in Britain.

More than 30 people were killed in two separate bomb attacks in
Pakistan.

Middle East Quartet held its meeting to outline Tony Blair's
mission.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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