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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
MONDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2007


In Today's Papers

Edelman, Fried Pay Surprise Visit to Ankara
All papers on Sunday and today cover the "surprise visit" of
Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried and Undersecretary of Defense
Eric Edelman on Saturday "to express regret" over the approval of
the Armenian genocide resolution and to "cool diplomatic tensions"
sparked by the approval of the Armenian genocide resolution by the
US House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sunday papers report the US is
concerned that the Turkish government might take extreme measures
such as the closure of Incirlik Airbase.

On the topic of a possible cross-border operation into Iraq by
Turkey, Sunday papers report Fried and Edelman "warned" Ankara that
a possible incursion would draw Iran into Iraq, "adding to turmoil
in the region." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet writes Monday that
Fried and Edelman were sent to Turkey to "calm the Turks" after the
committee vote in favor of the resolution, but instead they
"threatened" Turkey not to conduct a cross-border operation into
northern Iraq. Diplomatic sources said "the visit did not go as
well as planned," reports Cumhuriyet.

Papers report Edelman said following talks at the Turkish Foreign
Ministry (MFA) the US considers Turkey a strategic partner and aims
to maintain ties with Turkey. Edelman said the administration was
determined to oppose the bill in Congress.
On the likelihood of a cross-border operation into north of Iraq,
Edelman said Turks expressed concerns over recent terrorist
developments in the southeastern city of Sirnak, adding the US
shared those concerns. Edelman said that in their next stop Baghdad
they will convey Turkey's discomfort to the Iraqi authorities,
underlining that Turkey's patience is about to run out.

Military, Business and Armenian Communities React to Armenian
Resolution
All papers report on Sunday and today the chief of the Turkish
General Staff (TGS) Yasar Buyukanit warned that ties between Turkey
and the US would never be the same if the House passes the Armenian
resolution. Buyukanit said that by passing the resolution the US
would be "shooting itself in the foot."

Opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal said Turkey should close down
Incirlik Airbase at least temporarily in reaction to the approval of
the resolution by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sunday
papers report State Minister Kursad Tuzmen has cancelled his trip to
the US this week to participate in a meeting of the Turkish-American
Business Council on "Turkey in 2008." Papers also expect Prime
Minister to review his plans for visiting the US soon.

Meanwhile, the Patriarch of Turkish Armenians Mesrob Mutafyan said
he opposed the resolution approved by the US House Foreign Affairs
Committee, and promised to work against the adoption of the
resolution by the House. Mutafyan told the press that the
resolution has become a tool of domestic policy in the United
States.

Editorial Commentary: Armenian Resolution
Mehmet Yilmaz writes in the mainstream Hurriyet: "Lately, there are
heated discussions in Turkey concerning implementing sanctions
against the US if the Armenian genocide resolution passes in
Congress. So far, more than 20 countries have approved such a
resolution and Turkey's immediate reaction was to hastily impose
sanctions against these countries. Unfortunately, there is no
evidence that those sanctions helped the situation or that we
managed to implement them fully. It is not difficult to understand
what the Armenian Diaspora is trying to do; by 2015, which is the
100th anniversary of the so-called Armenian genocide, they want all
world parliaments to have issued such a resolution. If we continue
pursuing the policy of imposing sanctions, by 2015, we will be
completely isolated. However, the best way to counter these

ANKARA 00002534 002 OF 003


resolutions is to find a new method, like launching a comprehensive
public relations campaign across the world. The reason the Armenian
allegations have become so widespread is that Armenians are good at
public relations."

Taha Akyol observes in the mainstream Milliyet: "We Turks believe
that Turks don't have any friends other than Turks themselves.
Declaring the whole world an enemy and following this paranoia and
challenging the world will not get Turkey anywhere. While we are
discussing our reaction to the US because of the Armenian resolution
and also the CBO plans to counter PKK terrorism, we should not allow
our emotions to affect us. Instead of acting hastily and
emotionally, let us make wise plans with well-calculated results."

TGS Acknowledges Turkey Shelled Northern Iraq
All papers report a statement posted by the Turkish General Staff
(TGS) on the Internet acknowledges for the first time that the
Turkish military bombed PKK bases in northern Iraq on October 12, in
retaliation for terrorist attacks coming from northern Iraq. Papers
over the weekend and today report extensively on the possibility of
a cross-border operation by Turkey, with mainstream Milliyet saying
military incursions into northern Iraq will include ground
operations against the PKK camps in Haftanin, Sihant, Zap, Hakurk,
Gara and Metina, and air strikes targeting the PKK camps in Kandil
Mountains.
Papers expect the ruling AKP MPs to give support to the motion
despite the opposition of lawmakers from the mainly Kurdish
southeast. Saturday's papers report Erdogan as saying Turkey was
ready to pay "any price" of an operation into northern Iraq.
Erdogan underlined that PKK terrorists killed 30 soldiers during the
holy month of Ramadan, and condemned the West for its reluctance to
move against the terrorist organization. Today the Council of
Ministers is expected to approve a bill for operations against the
PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, which will be sent to the
parliament Tuesday to be discussed this week.

Kaplan on Efforts against DTP, Northern Iraq Incursion
All papers report the Kurdish DTP deputy Hasip Kaplan pointed to the
efforts to strip DTP lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity, and
threatened to launch huge civilian protests if his party is expelled
from parliament. Kaplan, during a visit to Habur border crossing
with Iraq, called on the Turkish government to refrain from
incursions into northern Iraq, and warned that operations across the
border would lead to a war between nations. Kaplan also sent a
message to Kurdish MPs in the ruling AKP, urging them to resign from
their party in case it acts in a hostile fashion against the Kurds.
"You should not betray your people," Kaplan said.

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

- The wedding of President Abdullah Gul's daughter was held
yesterday in Istanbul under tight security measures.

- A total of 32 people were killed in traffic accidents across
Turkey on the last day of the Muslim Eid holiday.

- Prime Minister Erdogan is to visit Izmir together with six cabinet
ministers to join a symposium on Izmir's bid to host Expo 2015.

International News

- White House Spokesman Tony Fratto said bringing the Armenian
resolution to a vote "may do grave harm to US-Turkish relations and
to US interests in Europe and the Middle East," and vowed to work to
stop the discussion of the document in the US House.

- Israel's attorney general on Sunday ordered a new criminal

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investigation into Prime Minister Olmert.

- Russia's security services claimed over the weekend they had
uncovered a plot to assassinate President Putin during his trip to
Iran this week.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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