Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2007
In Today's Papers
Uncertainty Continues on Parliament Speaker, Presidential
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan has a tough task ahead of
him in the next few weeks: the selection of the parliament speaker,
the formation of the new cabinet and the nomination of the AKP
candidate for president. Erdogan said following a five-hour AKP
leadership meeting yesterday he wanted a "stronger" cabinet, causing
speculation in papers that it indicates a radical reshuffle in the
cabinet. Hurriyet says Prime Minister Erdogan may not submit his
new cabinet list to President Sezer for approval on the grounds that
Sezer's mandate has expired. Cumhuriyet and Milliyet claim Erdogan,
fearing Sezer may veto some names in his list, may wait for a new
president to be elected before submitting his cabinet list to the
head of state for approval.
On Thursday, the Turkish Parliament is due to elect its speaker.
Former justice minister Cemil Cicek and senior AKP lawmaker Koksal
Toptan are leading contenders for the post.
Vatan sees the possibility of Abdullah Gul withdrawing from the
presidential race increasing, quoting sources close to both Gul and
to Erdogan. Some in the AKP now want a compromise figure to take
the presidency, says the paper. Cumhuriyet as well as the
Islamist-oriented Zaman and Yeni Safak disagree, saying Gul will not
pull out of the race.
Maliki Visits Turkey
All papers report that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, due in
Ankara Tuesday, will be given a "final warning" by Ankara which is
actually "directed against the US," to "either take action against
the PKK or we will." Maliki will meet with Erdogan and also be
received by President Sezer. Papers expect Maliki to pledge
cooperation on security, saying he may agree to classify the PKK as
a terrorist organization. Ankara will urge Maliki to close down PKK
offices in Iraq, hand over PKK leaders, cut off weapons and food
supplies to the rebels, and block television and radio broadcasts by
the group in northern Iraq. Ankara will also urge Maliki to put off
a planned referendum on the future of the oil rich northern Iraqi
city of Kirkuk, say papers.
Ali al-Dabbagh, the spokesman of the Iraqi government said in an
interview with Turkish TV station NTV on Monday that Iraq sees the
PKK as a terrorist organization and will not allow such an armed
group to function in Iraq. Dabbagh said that a unilateral military
Turkish incursion into Iraq will not be good for bilateral ties,
calling on Turkey "not to take a unilateral step that can threaten
Iraq's sovereignty." Turkey, Iraq and the USA should cooperate on a
solution of the issue, Dabbagh said. He also stressed that a fair
solution should be found through consensus for all the groups living
Editorial Commentary on Maliki Visit to Turkey
Cengiz Candar writes in the business and political daily Referans:
"There is no way Turkey can get results regarding the PKK without
establishing direct contact with Iraq's Kurdish president as well as
Iraqi Kurds. Diplomacy on the issue requires direct contact with
Iraqi Kurds. This is something that has to happen eventually.
Otherwise Turkey will have to deal with the issue by itself which
means a controversial cross-border operation. Turkey will realize
soon after the Maliki visit that insisting on old-fashioned politics
and declining to recognize Kurdish legitimacy is not going to work
any longer. However it is not possible to move away from the old
policy before electing a new president. Thus, electing the new
president and forming the new government are two important things
for Turkey's security policy in the immediate future."
Gungor Mengi writes in the mainstream daily Vatan: "Iraqi PM Maliki
is visiting Ankara. It is no secret that during this visit Turkey
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will warn the Baghdad administration for the last time to take
concrete action against the PKK. In the meantime, former Ambassador
Abramowitz has come out with an interesting comment in the
Washington Post, advising Washington to force Kurds to take action
against the PKK. Yet the Commander of American Forces in Iraq
General [sic] Fallon has said something which seems to be providing
guidance to Maliki on what to say in Ankara. General Fallon said
that he does not want a new front in Iraq, because 'Kurds in the
Iraqi army could leave and join the other side in large numbers.'
Comparing the two statements from the US, one might conclude that
the American diplomacy machine is trying to fool its friends."
GAO Blames Pentagon for Missing US Arms in Iraq
Mainstream Milliyet and Islamist-oriented Zaman continue reporting
on the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on 190,000
missing US weapons in Iraq. Zaman headlines "GAO Blames Pentagon
for Missing Weapons," saying the majority of the missing weapons may
have fallen into the hands of Iraqi insurgents. Milliyet reports
Turkey has decided to ask NATO to investigate the issue.
MFA Delegation to Visit the US
Liberal Radikal reports a Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) team headed
by Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan is to travel to Washington later
this month to hold talks on the PKK and Iran issues. The Apakan
delegation, invited by Undersecretary Nicholas Burns, will also meet
with NSA Stephen Hadley. Diplomatic sources say talks continued
between the sides for a possible visit of Prime Minister Erdogan to
the US in autumn. In addition to Iran and the PKK, Erdogan will
discuss with Americans the Armenian Genocide Resolution as well.
The US-Turkey "Strategic Vision Document" could be renewed during
the visit of Erdogan, according to Radikal.
EU Delegation to Visit Ankara, Diyarbakir
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Council of Europe's Local and
Regional Assemblies Congress will send a fact-finding team to Ankara
and Diyarbakir from August 6-10 to meet with Kurdish mayors,
government officials and NGOs. The team will make their
observations public in a report to be issued September 17.
NTV, 7.00 A.M.
- Turkish Naval Forces took over the command of Black Sea Naval
Cooperation Task Force (BLACKSEAFOR) from Russia in a ceremony held
at Golcuk Naval Base in the northwestern province of Kocaeli on
- Twenty four people died when a minibus conveying workers to the
Black Sea region collided with a lorry in Sivas province.
- More than 12,000 workers at Turkish Airlines (THY) will vote over
four days on whether to hold a strike over pay and work conditions.
- The EU presses Turkey to introduce EU standards in taxation for
the Turkish national brew "raki."
- A truck packed with explosives blew up in a Shiite neighborhood in
Tal Afar in northern Iraq, killing 33 people, including 12 children
and five women.
- Greek Cypriot administration claims Turkish preparations for oil
exploration in the eastern Mediterranean violates international
- The US and Iran held the first meeting Monday of a new
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sub-committee set up to cooperate on ending Iraq's sectarian
- Tens of thousands of elderly survivors of Hiroshima, children and
dignitaries gathered Monday at the city's Peace Memorial Park to
remember more than 250,000 people who died from the nuclear blast.