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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
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2007


In Today's Papers

Turkey-Iraq Sign Anti-Terror Accord
All papers report that Turkey and Iraq failed to tie an anti-terror
accord on Thursday after Baghdad said Ankara must seek its "formal
and explicit permission" before sending troops over the border in
pursuit of the PKK terrorists. The Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad
al-Bolani told reporters they would extend their stay in Ankara
until Friday, saying the sides were close to an agreement. The
disagreement has been over the clause allowing "hot pursuit," with
Ankara saying it has the right under the UN Convention to chase the
PKK militants into northern Iraq. Several papers claim that the key
clause of "hot pursuit" would be removed from the accord due to the
opposition of Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, with Radikal
reporting that the regional Kurdish administration leader Massoud
Barzani was in communication with FM Zebari and PM Maliki about the
issue.

TV news reports the deal was signed on Friday, with the sides
failing to agree on ways that would have let Turkish troops seek
terrorists across the border. The two countries pledged to take all
necessary measures to fight against the PKK and other militant
groups, and they will hold meetings every six months to coordinate
their work, according to the deal. Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad
al-Bolani told the press after signing the accord with his Turkish
counterpart Besir Atalay that the agreement was very important for
Iraq, and that his government would do all in its power to implement
the measures. Atalay said the sides could not reach agreement on
the article regarding border security cooperation, and that
negotiations on this issue would continue.

Editorial Commentary on Turkey-Iraq Anti-Terror Deal, Iraq's
Division
Fikret Bila writes in mainstream Milliyet: "The Visiting Iraqi
delegation in Ankara insists that to sign an anti-terror agreement
between the two countries, the right to 'hot pursuit' of PKK
terrorists into northern Iraq will be given to Turkey only with
Baghdad's formal permission. Ankara therefore believes the right to
chase terrorists would be used, as was the case before, through the
UN Convention which gives Turkey the necessary authority...The
regional Kurdish administration in northern Iraq's opposition to the
agreement will make it impossible to implement. Stalling Turkey, as
in the case of the tri-lateral special anti-terror envoy mechanism,
will not bring the desired outcome. Both Iraq and the US should be
honest in their claims to combat terror, and see that the documents
they have signed are enforced in northern Iraq as well."

Mustafa Balbay writes in leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet: "Democratic
Senator Joe Biden's bill adopted by the US Senate envisages a loose
federal system for Iraq with partition along Shiite, Sunni and Arab
ethnic lines, leaving the central government in Baghdad responsible
for distribution of oil revenues. Iraq already has a three-party
structure in which we see further divisions inside each party. The
Shiites in the south, despite their cooperation with Iran, have
serious disagreements among themselves. The Sunnis dominate Baghdad
and its surroundings, but the Shiites too have sizable populations
in the capital. The north of the country seems intact for now but
the situation of the Turkmen in the region will be subject to
debate. What is more, questions about whether the tribes, the most
decisive element of the social structure in Iraq, will benefit from
the country's division are to be raised as well. Such seemingly
simple questions and problems might bring along even more Qivisions
in a divided Iraq."

Erdogan Addresses Council on Foreign Relations, Meets with ADL and
Ahmadinejad in New York
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan met Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) national director Abraham Foxman in New York to discuss
Armenian genocide claims. Erdogan later participated in a panel
discussion of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) where he said

ANKARA 00002436 002 OF 003


attempts to pass the Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress
would "poison" Turkey-US ties. On the question of terrorism,
Erdogan said, "PKK attacks deepen the trauma, test the patience of
Turkish people and limit the options of the political authority.
The US-originated weapons falling into the hands of the terrorists
have drawn a strong public reaction in Turkey." Erdogan said that
Turkey has commanded NATO forces twice in Afghanistan within the
scope of combating terrorism, and that it was preparing for a third
time. Yeni Safak reports Prime Minister Erdogan said in response to
a question that Turkey would look positively at allowing the US
military to withdraw from Iraq through Turkey, after stressing that
Washington should set a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.

Meanwhile, papers report Erdogan met yesterday Iranian President
Ahmadinejad to discuss bilateral energy cooperation despite the fact
that the US House has decided to toughen sanctions against companies
working with Iran. Ahmadinejad told the press after the meeting
that there were no problems between the two countries regarding
energy issues. Mainstream Milliyet says that after the
Erdogan-Ahmadinejad meeting, Secretary Rice gave to Foreign Minister
Ali Babacan the message that everybody had to comply with the UN
sanctions against Iran.

Babacan Meets Rice in New York
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others
report Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met Secretary Rice on the
margins of the UNGA talks in New York. Babacan delivered the
message that the PKK terror must be stopped, with Rice confirming
that the PKK terror must be stopped not in the region but around the
world. Mainstream Milliyet quotes Secretary Rice as saying
regarding the Biden Amendment that would divide Iraq into three
regions that "we do not support any policy that would lead to the
division of Iraq."

Meanwhile, Cumhuriyet and Radikal report Babacan is to kick off a
tour of Middle Eastern countries in October including Jordan, Israel
and Palestine. The tour is a preparation for the expanded meeting
of Iraq's neighbors to take place in Istanbul next month, say
papers.

Turkey-Iran to Sign Energy Deal in October
Vatan and Cumhuriyet report that in October, Turkey and Iran are
expected to sign the second part of the agreement for energy
cooperation. Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari will visit
Ankara in October to discuss the details of a memorandum of
understanding on energy cooperation. The Iranian Embassy in Ankara
said the document to be signed would list the Turkish and Iranian
companies to participate in the implementation of the project.
Radikal believes US pressure might force Turkey to suspend plans for
an energy deal with Iran. The paper reminds that India was forced
to scrap a similar deal with Iran, warning that the deal drafted
between Turkey and Iran would be difficult to implement.

Survey: Women Wearing Headscarves Declining in Turkey
Liberal Radikal reports on page one that a public opinion survey
conducted by A&G polling company shows the number of women wearing
Islamic-style headscarves declined by 2.8 percent in the last four
years. The survey was conducted on September 21-23 in seven
provinces with 1863 people. More than 73 percent of those polled
said headscarf ban in universities should be removed, and only 19
percent think that the headscarf was a political symbol. Mainstream
Milliyet, however, points to a different aspect of the survey that
31.4 percent of the interviewees believe that Turkey will be
gradually transformed into a moderate Islamic state.

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News


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- New bureaucratic appointments made by President Abdullah Gul are
published in the Official Gazette which shows that Gul is approving
appointments that had earlier been vetoed by his predecessor Ahmet
Necdet Sezer.

- The new legislative year opens in the parliament on October 1,
with President Abdullah Gul to deliver the opening speech to members
of parliament. Opposition CHP administration has decided to
participate in the opening.

- Two soldiers have been killed by a PKK landmine in the
southeastern province of Bitlis. In Sirnak on the border with Iraq,
four PKK terrorists were killed in fighting with security forces.

- The Times reports Japan Tobacco is poised to offer about USD 1.5
billion for the purchase of the cigarette business of former Turkish
monopoly Tekel.

International News

- Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered US military commanders
in Iraq to review the rules governing contractors' use of arms and
to begin legal proceedings against violations of military law.

- After meeting with President Papadopoulos in New York yesterday,
U/S Nicholas Burns called on UNSYG to appoint a new special envoy to
Cyprus to restart peace talks on the divided island.

- Azerbaijan has shelved a regulation banning the headscarf in
universities following growing protests in Baku.

- A survey conducted for BBC World Service shows the Turkish
government has failed to meet the expectations of the Turkish public
for coping with climate changes.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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