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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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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
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2007

In Today's Papers

Abdullah Gul Set to Become Turkey's 11th President in Today's Voting

All papers report Abdullah Gul is set to be elected Turkey's next
president in a third round of voting in the parliament on Tuesday.
A simple majority of 276 votes is needed for Gul's election in the
550-member assembly. The main opposition CHP said it will continue
to boycott the voting. Mainstream Milliyet said on its website
Monday the 20 Kurdish DTP lawmakers have decided to support Gul in
today's voting. The paper sees the sudden change in the position of
DTP as the result of the AKP decision to place Kurdish language
rights in a draft of constitutional changes expected to be unveiled
by the government in late September.

Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet criticizes far-right MHP for taking
part in the election process, thus enabling Gul to become the next
president. Sabah reports the chief of the Turkish General Staff
(TGS) Yasar Buyukanit and force commanders were invited to join the
oath-taking ceremony to take place at 6:00 p.m. today. Gul's wife,
Hayrunnisa Gul, is not expected to attend the ceremony in
parliament.

Editorial Commentary on Gul as Turkey's New President
Hasan Cemal comments in the mainstream daily Milliyet: "There is no
requirement to be pleased with Gul's presidency nor it is necessary
to like the ruling AKP. All you have to do is to find alternate
policies instead of working as a crisis-monger. Gul as president
will be a historical breakthrough for Turkey. The country will be
relieved as long as Gul proves his full commitment to democracy, the
secular nature of the Republic and supremacy of law. When that
happens, Turkey will be able to move forward to a progressive
future. There is a lesson to learn out of the ongoing presidential
election process: Nobody should consider any methods other than
democracy."

Gungor Mengi writes in the mainstream daily Vatan: "Gul is becoming
the 11th president of Turkey. Some believe that he has a secret
Islamic agenda to change the nature of the regime, while others
argue that such fears are baseless because of the past record of AKP
government during the last 4.5 years. It is important for Turkey
that these fears and arguments come to an end as soon as possible.
President Gul has a very urgent test and he has to prove his
sincerity. There was a Washington Post article which was saying Gul
would become president unless there was a military coup. Using a
military coup as a constant reference for Turkey has a provocative
and insulting tone. Turkey has just concluded a democratic election
and its outcome will be implemented regardless. The antidote for
fears is democratic policies within the supremacy of law not
military coups. President Gul comes with a credit as he expresses
commitment to the values of Turkish Republic. Let's hope that he
uses this credit in a way compatible with his oath."

TGS Issues Victory Day Statement on Eve of Presidential Election
All papers report that on Monday, the eve of Abdullah Gul taking
over the presidential post, the Turkish General Staff (TGS) released
a "strongly-worded" statement to mark Victory Day to be celebrated
on August 30. Allegedly penned by TGS chief General Yasar Buyukanit
himself, the statement underlines the importance of secularism,
pointing to "insidious plans by internal and external forces to ruin
the secular and democratic structure of Turkey and undo the
country's modern achievements." "The Turkish Armed Forces will
never sway from its determined position while performing its duty of
protecting and watching over the republic under the guidance of
Ataturk's philosophy. The army will not be deterred by attacks and
betrayals. As the founder of our republic Ataturk put it, 'Those
who have established the Republic must also be capable of defending
it,'" the statement said.

Turkey's Ambassador to Israel: Use Influence Jewish Community in the

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US
Sabah, Star, Zaman and others: In an interview with Israel's
Jerusalem Post, Turkish Ambassador to Israel Namik Tan urged the
Israeli government to use its influence on US-based Jewish
organizations to ensure that the US Congress does not pass the
"Armenian genocide" resolution. Ambassador Tan stressed that "it is
Turkey's expectation that Israel will not allow the Jewish community
in the US to change their position and this is very, very important
for Turkey." When reminded by the Jerusalem Post of quotes by
Israeli government officials reiterating that Israel does not
control American-Jewish organizations, Tan said "I cannot accept
this argument. On some issues there is no such thing as 'Israel
cannot do it' and this is one of those issues."

Talat Accuses the US of being Responsible for Cyprus Oil Issue


Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reported that, northern Cyprus
"President" Talat, in a TV interview, reacted to the oil exploration
in Mediterranean by the Greek-Cypriots, saying that "the US will be
the responsible party if a crisis erupts on this issue." Talat
added that "if the Greek Cypriots do not change their stance,
anything can happen. Everyone should be cautious; everyone could
suffer from the consequences."

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Labor Minister Murat Basesgioglu said national carrier Turkish
Airlines (THY) has reached a pay deal with aviation workers union,
averting a possible strike.

- Huseyin Travnisi, the KDP border security commander in Zaho in
northern Iraq, said the Turkish military has been striking 34 border
areas since February with tanks, jetfighters and napalm bombs.

- President Sezer wrapped up his farewell visits before the election
of the new president.

- Torrential rains are expected in Turkey's north, the Marmara
region and Black Sea region.

International News

- Greek officials said forest fires are threatening the ancient
ruins of Olympia, adding the unprecedented disaster was not yet
under control. Turkey will send a JL215-type amphibian plane to
Greece to help efforts to extinguish fires.

- French President Sarkozy said his agreement to negotiate Turkey's
EU membership would require the EU to establish a panel of ``wise
men'' by the end of the year to study the future of Europe.

- Climate negotiators from 191 nations assembled in Vienna on Monday
with calls for a global deal beyond 2012 to replace the UN's Kyoto
Protocol.

- US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales handed in his resignation.

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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