Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
DE RUEHAK #1974/01 2131452
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011452Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3230
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8260
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3096
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2181
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6035
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5854
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2450
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001974
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
In Today's Papers
President Sezer Meets Party Leaders, Erdogan Consults with Gul,
All papers report after meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan last
week, President Sezer is to receive CHP and MHP leaders today.
Papers note Sezer has not invited the leaders of DTP, the fourth
party group in the parliament, saying the Kurdish MPs entered the
parliament as independents, not under their party card.
Meanwhile, papers report Erdogan came together with Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc Tuesday to discuss
ways to compromise with state organs and the opposition on the
presidential election. Papers expect Erdogan to ask the opposition
to back Gul or pick another name from a list of candidates.
Nationalist Writer Ergun Poyraz Court Case
Islamist-oriented Zaman and others report on the unfolding case
against nationalist Ergun Poyraz, who was arrested for being a
member of a terrorist organization, for obtaining secret documents
and other charges. During his trial in connection with 27 hand
grenades found in a house in Umraniye, Istanbul, he was questioned
about the Turkish Land Forces' intelligence archive police found on
his computer. Poyraz denied in court any knowledge of the mentioned
archive and said that he had written 15 books so far, and since he
was an author, he received information and documentation from
various sources. Poyraz also claimed that he was approached by the
retired non-commissioned officer Oktay Yildirim (who is in jail for
possession of the 27 hand grenades) about a year ago to write a book
about Yildirim's adventures in the southeast of Turkey.
Dossier on Arms Smuggled from Iraq Given to Bush
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports on page one Turkey has
submitted to the US a "blue file" containing details 1,283 Sig
Sauer, Walter, Glock, and M-16 guns, which had been smuggled into
Turkey from Iraq and had also fallen into the hands of the PKK
terrorists who crossed into Turkey. The guns were originally
ordered by the US for use in Iraq. The US investigation into the
issue found out that weapons were sold from arms caches in Iraq.
Four of the Americans responsible for the weapons were killed, one
after the other, and it was learned that they had millions of
dollars of bank accounts. The Glocks used in the assassination of
Roman Catholic priest Father Santoro in Trabzon and a high court
justice in Ankara also came from Iraq. Turkey is still waiting for
a response to the file which was also submitted to President Bush,
says Yeni Safak.
Plans for Joint US-Turkey Operation in Northern Iraq
All papers continue speculation on "Bush's Turkish Gamble," the July
30 Washington Post column by Robert Novak, which claims
Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman gave a "secret" briefing to
some Congressmen with regard to a joint US-Turkish operation
targeting the PKK leaders in northern Iraq. Mainstream Sabah and
Milliyet believe the operation plans were leaked by Centcom because
the US military does not really want to fight the PKK. Hurriyet
claims Hillary Clinton did it due to her anger at Edelman for
criticizing in a letter her approach to the war with Iraq.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet says the source could be a Democrat
or Republican figure who doesn't want the US to spoil ties with its
sole ally, the Kurds, in Iraq. Papers believe because it was
leaked, it was unlikely that the operation would be carried out.
Iranian Diplomat on Iran's Nuclear Energy Policy
Liberal Radikal interviewed the Iranian Charge d'Affairs in Ankara
Golam Reza Bageri on Iran's nuclear energy policy. Bageri said that
"Iran had reached a point in nuclear energy development where it is
not possible to take a back step and the Western world should agree
and learn to live with a nuclear Iran." Bageri added that "IAEA
officials have started a new investigation on Iran's nuclear
projects and they will soon see that Iran is not doing anything
ANKARA 00001974 002 OF 003
illegal. Even though it takes time, a solution will be found to the
issue." Bageri also stressed that the natural gas agreement signed
between Turkey and Iran is in the US interest as well, and as Iran
has the second biggest gas resource after Russia, without using
Iran's resources, the regional gas projects would not be able to
find enough resources.
Editorial Commentary on US Arms Sales to Arabs, a New Turkish
Mehmet Altan writes in the tabloid daily Star: "The recent [Oxfam]
report on today's Iraq, which shows that the country is in despair,
has coincided with Secretary Rice's trip to Arab countries. Before
starting her tour, Secretary Rice announced the sale of weapons
worth billions of dollars to the Arab world. She was justifying the
sale by claiming that it will not lead to instability. She named
Iran as the address for instability in the region. In short, the
arms dealers are back on stage again. The arms dealers are causing
poverty in the Middle East. Like a vicious circle, poverty leads to
crisis, and arms dealers come back in the name of preventing crisis.
It seems that the future of arms dealers and the future of the
world have an inverse correlation. When we see the end of arms
dealers, it will be the bright beginning of humanity."
Erdal Safak writes in the mainstream daily Sabah: "Turkey stands
before an historic opportunity to make a new constitution compatible
with modern standards. The new parliament has a wonderful majority
of representation as 85 percent of the voters' choices have places
in the new parliament. That means the representatives in the new
parliament can act to shape the new constitution for Turkey from a
position of strength. Not only the ruling party, but others as well
have agreed on the need for a new modern constitution for Turkey.
Besides the studies by political party organs, there is a need to
hold a nation-wide Constitutional Convention in order to pave the
way for new drafts as varied as possible. Turkey seems ready for a
new and liberal constitution and it is the time now to make this
NTV (7 A.M.)
- Former deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said he does not
share the view of army chief Buyukanit that the April 27 military
memorandum had no impact on the parliamentary elections.
- Independent candidate Baskin Oran has applied to the European
Court of Human Rights, complaining that independent candidates were
not on the ballots at the border gates and were denied access to
state broadcaster TRT television during their election campaigns.
- High Election Board will kick off procedures Thursday for holding
an October 21 referendum on presidential election reforms.
- Turkey complained in a letter to the UN Secretary General about
oil exploration by the Greek Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- US State Department congratulated in a statement Prime Minister
Erdogan and his AKP for their election victory.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is allegedly facing a revolt
from within his party from people led by his predecessor Ibrahim
al-Jaafari who want him out of power.
- The leader of Iraqi Kurdish region Massoud Barzani warned of a
"real civil war" if the central government does not implement
Constitutional article 140 on the future of Kirkuk.
ANKARA 00001974 003 OF 003
- Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said European leaders
wanted to hold accession talks with a democratic Turkey.