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Cablegate: Turkey: Parliament Overwhelmingly Approves Motion

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OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIHL
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DE RUEHAK #2573/01 2901548
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171548Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4054
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA PRIORITY 2383
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RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA// PRIORITY
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002573

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR EUR/SE AND NEA/I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL TU IZ US
SUBJECT: TURKEY: PARLIAMENT OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVES MOTION
TO AUTHORIZE CROSS BORDER ACTION AGAINST PKK

REF: ANKARA 2566 AND PREVIOUS

ANKARA 00002573 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On October 17, the Turkish parliament, as
expected, approved by an overwhelming margin a
government-sponsored motion authorizing a cross border
operation (CBO) against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
terrorists in northern Iraq. It gives the government
authority for one year to approve a CBO. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) The vote for the motion was overwhelming: 507 in
favor, 19 against. All parties except the Kurdish
nationalist Democratic Society Party (DTP) voted in favor of
the motion.

3. (SBU) On behalf of the government, Deputy PM and
government spokesman Cemil Cicek emphasized that the motion
represented a coordinated effort among all relevant state
actors, including government and military. Noting that
Turkey has suffered tens of thousands of casualties in its
struggle against PKK terror, he stressed the current
government had demonstrated great patience in pursuing a
solution through diplomatic means. With no results to show
for this effort, the GOT had decided that it must consider
the possibility of countering the threat through military
means. Cicek accused the PKK of causing the suffering of
Turkish citizens throughout the Southeast, noting that
terrorist violence had hindered the GOT's ability to complete
its massive GAP development project there.

4. (SBU) Speaking on behalf of the ruling Justice and
Development Party (AKP), Nihat Ergun stressed that the
economic, political and social development of the heavily
Kurdish Southeast had been long neglected. This had changed
when AKP entered the scene; gradually, they won the hearts of
the people. He urged other parties to emulate AKP by
knocking on all doors in the region. He stressed Turkey's
patient wait for the international community to act and noted
the responsibility of northern Iraqis to support the central
Iraqi government in the fight against the PKK. The northern
Iraqi administration should recognize just how determined
Turkey is. Turkey's diplomats would, he stressed, make
effective use of the motion before the military.

5. (SBU) Sukru Elekdag spoke for the Republican People's
Party (CHP). He underscored CHP's support for the motion,
accusing both the US and the Iraqi Kurds of using the PKK as
a trump card. He alleged that the US wanted to remain in a
divided Iraq for the oil, and termed US policies there
"two-faced" and a "fiasco". He stated that the Iraqi Kurds
needed to choose between Turkey and the PKK, and concluded by
asking whether the US would support Turkey or those who
shelter the PKK.

6. (SBU) Expressing the views of the Nationalist Action Party
(MHP), Deniz Bolukbasi offered full MHP support for the
motion, accused the government of foot-dragging on this
matter, and hoped the AKP would demonstrate the necessary
will to use the mandate. He complained about the unhelpful
stance of the US, Iraqi President Talabani and KRG President
Barzani. Bolukbasi argued that it would be difficult to
target only PKKers, as they might blend into the peshmerga.
He also pushed for a deterrent policy toward Iraq that could
include such measures as shutting down the Habur customs
gate, not allowing Turkish airspace to be used, and cutting
logistical supply shipments.

7. (SBU) The DTP's Selahattin Demirtas, representing the only
party to vote "no" on the motion, stated that people
everywhere want the bloodshed to stop: "Every drop of blood
shed makes it harder to dress the wound." He warned that in
the event of a CBO, Turkey could get stuck in a quagmire. He

ANKARA 00002573 002.2 OF 002


called for a solution within the framework of democracy and
stressed that the DTP had turned its face to Ankara to
resolve these problems. He expressed the hope that if the
motion were adopted, Turkey would not have to use it. He
offered to contribute to a solution; that is why, he said,
voters had sent DTPers to parliament. He asked that
parliament work harder on economic and social measures for
the region.

8. (SBU) Comment: Throughout the debate, AKP stuck to its
relatively moderate line, both to keep the GOT's options
open, and to ensure that AKP MPs from the Southeast (who were
treated to a four-hour presentation/dinner the night before
by Education Minister and Van MP Huseyin Celik) voted "yes".
CHP and MHP, as expected, were the most demanding, but
ultimately supportive of the motion. MPs listened to DTP's
Demirtas in stony silence, but they did listen. The question
now will be how much pressure PM Erdogan will find himself
under; absent a major PKK strike, he has bought some time.


Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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