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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002699

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2007


In Today's Papers

Rice Due in Turkey amid Worries of Turkish Iraq Incursion
All papers report that on Friday, Secretary Rice is to travel to
Ankara to meet with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Erdogan
and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan to discuss the crisis on
Turkey-Iraq border. Rice will move on to Istanbul later in the same
day to participate in the expanded Iraq Neighbors Ministerial
Conference on Saturday. Papers expect Rice to try to soften the
Turkish attitudes with regard to a possible cross border military
incursion against the PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, adding that
proposals to be made by the Secretary could not be sufficient to
defuse strains. Papers see a Turkish incursion inevitable, and
expect Erdogan to search ways with Rice for Turkey's cooperation
with the US to that end.

Mainstream Vatan claims that on November 3, Babacan and Rice will
come together with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to discuss
the possibilities for launching three-side operations against the
PKK, adding this meeting would give Baghdad a last chance to take an
active role in the policy to be pursued against the terror
organization.

Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports on its front page that
Erdogan has insisted on meeting President Bush even though Rice
would call on Turkey November 2. The paper claims Erdogan will
offer Bush "unconditional Turkish Support" on sanctions against Iran
in return for backing Turkey's campaign to target the PKK.

Zebari: Strains on Border should not affect Iraq Talks in Istanbul
Several Turkish papers and television newscasts report Iraqi Foreign
Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Wednesday in a joint news conference
with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki in Baghdad
that Iraq has increased the number of check points to cut logistical
support going to the PKK. Zebari stressed that the upcoming Iraq
meetings in Istanbul should focus on security and stability in Iraq,
without being affected from the strains on Iraq-Turkey border and
the PKK's terror activities. Mainstream Sabah and tabloid Aksam
report that despite a recent invitation from Turkey, Iraqi President
Talabani would not participate in the Iraq conference in Istanbul,
and that it also was not confirmed whether Iraqi PM Maliki will
attend or not.

PM Erdogan-President Bush Meeting on November 5
Hurriyet, Sabah, Milliyet, Vatan and others: Today's papers focus
on the importance of the upcoming Erdogan-Bush meeting in
Washington. White House Spokesperson Dana Perino said that
President Bush will urge Turkey to act with restraint during his
meeting with Erdogan on November 5. Papers report that PM Erdogan
will be accompanied by Deputy Chief of the General Staff General
Ergin Saygun and the head of General Staff's Planning and Operations
Department General Kenan Kocak. Mainstream Milliyet reports that
Erdogan will ask the US to take urgent concrete steps and underline
Turkey's determination to do the necessary things if the US does not
so. Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman said that they are helping Turkey
in collecting information which is of key importance for a military
operation to be successful.

Mainstream daily Hurriyet's managing editor Ertugrul Ozkok believes
that PM Erdogan's delegation en route to White House has a special
message by its composition: "PM Erdogan at the last minute decided
to include important high ranked generals to his delegation.
Therefore a last minute seating arrangement has been done which
affected the travel plans of some accompanying journalists as they
were taken out. To my knowledge this is the very first time such a
big number of officers accompany a visit by the Prime Minister.
This last minute revision should be interpreted as a sign for
Turkey's strong unity between government and military. It also
shows what exactly is expected from the White House. The message is
something like this: The US should either persuade the Northern

ANKARA 00002699 002 OF 002


Iraqi administration for tangible steps against the PKK presence, or
should help out Turkey for its military operation. If Washington
does not want to be one of the sides of this issue, then it should
immediately make sure that PKK is taken out of Northern Iraq."

Panel Meeting to Discuss AKP-Drafted New Constitution
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Prime Minister Erdogan and
several leading AKP members, academics and NGO representatives are
to participate in a panel meeting held by Public Research Foundation
to debate the new constitutional draft made by a group of
constitutional law experts for the ruling AKP. Erdogan will deliver
the opening remarks of the panel in Ankara today to be followed by
an address by Professor Ergun Ozbudun, the head of the team that
drafted the constitutional changes.

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Former foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister Erdal Inonu, the
son of Turkey's second president, has died of cancer at the age of
81 while being treated in Houston the United States. On Saturday, a
state funeral will be held in Ankara for Inonu.

- The Turkish General Staff said 15 PKK terrorists were killed in
operations in Cudi Mountain in the last three days.

- The PKK has reportedly evacuated its camps in Zap valley near the
Turkish border in northern Iraq.

- The EU Commission is expected to make public its Turkey progress
report on November 6.


International News

- A Kremlin spokesman said Wednesday Turkey should show restraint
over the Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, but that its security
concerns are understandable.

- The Spanish Parliament has approved for the first time a bill
which formally condemns the 40-year dictatorship of General
Francisco Franco.

- US spending on intelligence programs totaled USD 43.5 billion this
year, up more than 50 percent from a decade ago.

- On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a
resolution calling on the US to end its decades-long trade embargo
against Cuba.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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