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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002709

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
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2007

In Today's Papers

Secretary Rice in Turkey

SIPDIS
All papers and TV news reports focus on Secretary Rice's visit to
Ankara today, the Iraq Neighbors Meeting beginning this evening in
Istanbul and Prime Minister Erdogan's upcoming meeting with
President Bush in Washington on Monday. Papers report Ankara's
strong hope for action against the PKK from the US while some papers
consider the upcoming Bush-Erdogan meeting as the final chance for
US to show its tangible action plan. Otherwise, Ankara will get
tough toward the US as many headlines read 'Ankara does not want to
take any advice any more.' According to reports, Rice will 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 Milliyet , under the headlines "Difficult Test for Rice",
reports that the Secretary is expected to deliver the message that
the solution is not military but diplomatic, taking the fact that no
military members will be accompanying her to Ankara as a sign that
the US is still not favorable to the idea of a cross-border
operation.

Liberal Radikal reports PM Erdogan will tell the Secretary that
Turkey does not want advice but wants action.

PM Erdogan-President Bush Meeting on November 5

Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet says that Turkey does not want more
advice from the US, noting that President Bush's and PM Erdogan's
agendas are very different. The paper adds PM Erdogan wants urgent
precautions against the PKK, but President Bush advises to follow
diplomatic ways. Also says that as a sign of determination, by
accompanying PM Erdogan in his trip to the US., army commanders will
give a message to Washington.

Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak in a banner headline calls the
Bush-Erdogan meeting "the most critical summit in 81 years," since
Turkey and the UK signed the Ankara agreement on Iraq in 1926,
adding that "all cards will be on the table" during the meeting.

Islamist-oriented Zaman reports based on comments by Foreign
Minister Ali Babacan at a press conference, Turkey will give "three
important messages at the Iraqi neighbors conference: some economic
sanctions have been put into effect against northern Iraq; the US
administration is the interlocutor when it comes to Iraq; and it is
a mistake to rely on mechanisms that don't work."

A common theme among commentators is that the US must make a choice
between Iraqi Kurds, in the person on Iraqi leader Mesut Barzani and
Turkey. Yasin Dogan writes in Yeni Safak: "The Iraq central
government is dependent on the Iraqi Kurds in order to remain
standing. Unless there is serious pressure from the US the Kurdish
administration won't take steps to meet Turkey's expectations. The
leading actor is the US so the ball is in the US court. Will the US
able to eliminate PKK? It should and it can. Unless the US has some
other calculations, then it should be able to put the reins on and
eliminate the PKK. The stance of the US toward the PKK is so
important that it will determine not only the fate of the
Turkish-American relations, but also the fate of the region as
well."

Writing in Hurriyet Ertugrul Ozkok says "Nobody believes the claim
that the US cannot make Barzani listen to it. Everybody knows that
without strong US backing, Barzani wouldn't be able to stay on his
feet for three days in this region. So rather than making
recommendations to Turkey, Barzani should listen to recommendations

ANKARA 00002709 002 OF 002


from Washington."

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki mediated for solving problems
between Turkey and Iraq. Before the meeting of Iraq's neighbors in
Istanbul, Mottaki came to Ankara to meet Turkish counterpart Ali
Babacan.

- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said PKK
and PJAK were threat for Turkey and Iran, and adds that there were
other powers behind the terrorists.

- Thousands of people joined a rally in Hakkari to denounce the
killing of 12 soldiers in Daglica and a raid targeting a wedding
convoy in the region.

International News

- US President Bush said his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister
Erdogan on November 5 will focus on the fight against terror.

- Secretary Rice is arriving Ankara before the Istanbul summit.
Ankara will bring its strong expectation to see action against PKK.

- A senior Iranian official said on Thursday that delegates from
both Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were
satisfied with the results of their new round of talks on Tehran's
nuclear program.

- Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said Turkey banned flights to
Northern Iraq.

- The former commander of US forces in the Middle East, retired
general John Abizaid, said oil could have American troops tied down
there for the next 50 years.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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