Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002749
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JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
In Today's Papers
New Approach from Baykal for Northern Iraq
Sabah, Hurriyet: In his address to CHP deputies in Parliament, CHP
leader Deniz Baykal said that Turkey needs a new approach for
Northern Iraq. Baykal suggested that Turkey begin to broadcast to
the region in both Kurdish and in Arabic. Also, Turkey should offer
university education to Kurdish and Arab youth in Northern Iraq.
Baykal noted that a cross-border operation will not eliminate the
PKK and resolve the issue and that the only solution is for the PKK
to lay down its weapons immediately. In addition, Turkey can apply
a broader amnesty to those who lay down arms.
EUCOM will supply Intelligence to Turkey about the PKK
Milliyet reports that US General Staff Operations Director General
Carter Ham said that intelligence information flow to Turkey about
the PKK will be conducted by US European Command (EUCOM). Following
the Erdogan-Bush meeting in Washington, Turkish Deputy Chief of
Staff General Ergin Saygun announced a new communication process
between himself, his American counterpart James Cartwright and the
commander of Coalition Force in Iraq General David Petraeus.
General Ham added that EUCOM commandant General Bantz Craddock and
CENTCOM commander Admiral William Fallon will be included in this
Editorial Commentary on the PKK
Gungor Mengi wrote in the mainstream daily Vatan: "One of the basic
principles for any country under the threat of terrorism is to
maintain the power of deterrence. The use of force should be the
last option, but force should not necessarily be avoided. If Turkey
gets labeled as a 'constant complainer of terrorism by not taking
action,' this will be a serious gain for the terrorists. If Turkey
loses its credibility as a power, we will lose military capability
as well. At this point, Turkey must act to prove its determination.
Some argue that an operation in Northern Iraq will not bring
results and that, due to the impending winter conditions, a cross
border operation will have to wait. However, Mengi argues that such
a point of view is very narrow-minded. We have an enemy in Northern
Iraq that deserves to be punished. Moreover, President Bush now
calls the PKK the enemy of the United States. In the fight against
terrorism, both terrorist organizations and their host communities
should be given a lesson."
No Invitation from Turkish Government to Iran
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that Iranian Energy Minister
Fattah was scheduled to visit Turkey on October 31 but that, prior
to PM Erdogan's visit to the US, the visit was postponed to November
8. However, Fattah did not come to Turkey on November 8 because
there was not a new invitation after the postponement. Cumhuriyet
reminds that Turkey and Iran had signed a memorandum of
understanding on natural gas cooperation on July 13. On August 19,
a Turkish delegation under the leadership of Energy Minister Hilmi
Guler went to Iran to discuss the details of the deal. And, during
the visit, Iranian officials had agreed to come to Turkey at the end
of October to sign the relevant agreement.
DTP Picks New Chairman, Calls for 'Democratic Autonomy'
All papers report Turkey's leading pro-Kurdish party DTP called on
the government to grant "democratic autonomy" to the mainly Kurdish
Southeast at a party convention held in Ankara on Thursday.
Nurettin Demirtas, who was elected the new DTP chairman at the
meeting to replace former party chief Ahmet Turk, said the state
structure in Turkey was based on "Turkish ethnicity," stressing the
powers of local administrations should be increased. Demirtas
advised Turkey to follow the example of Bulgaria, who now recognizes
the political rights of the Turkish population there. Papers say
Demirtas has served a ten-year prison sentence for membership to the
PKK, and that last year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
ordered Turkey to pay Demirtas a 2,000 Euro compensation for an
unfair trial. Demirtas will run the party together with
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Co-chairperson Emine Ayna, who argues for the use of the Kurdish
language in the public field, even though she herself does not speak
Kurdish. Ayna had alleged earlier this year that the PKK's
imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan was poisoned by Turks.
Meanwhile, television newscasts report Friday morning that the
Ankara prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into the
Saudi King, Israeli-Palestinian Leaders Due in Turkey
All papers report Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud
will visit Turkey on November 9-10 as the official guest of
President Abdullah Gul. On Friday, Gul and Abdullah will hold a
joint news conference and Gul will host a dinner in honor of the
Saudi king the same evening. King Abdullah will be given a Turkish
state medal of honor for his outstanding contribution to the
improvement of friendly ties between the two countries. Reports
indicate that King Abdullah and his accompanying 400-member
delegation will travel on six planes.
Israeli President Shimon Peres will visit Turkey on November 11-13,
while Palestinian Head of State Mahmoud Abbas visits on November
12-13. On November 12, Peres and Abbas will address the Turkish
Parliament and attend a dinner hosted by President Gul. Both
leaders will participate in the meeting of "Ankara Forum," which
brings together Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian businessmen and
continues work to implement an industrial zone project in the West
Bank. On November 11, Peres will attend a conference at Ankara's
Bilkent University and on November 12, Peres will meet President
Gul, Parliament Speaker Toptan, PM Erdogan and FM Babacan. Peres
will move on to Istanbul on November 13 and depart from Turkey after
wrapping up his contacts later the same day.
Austria, Germany Put 'Glock Embargo' on the US
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Austria and Germany, acting on a
report by Turkish police, have suspended the sale of Glock and
Walter pistols to the United States. The report by the Turkish
security organization's smuggling and organized crime desk says that
since 2005, 1,224 Austrian-made Glock and 146 German-made Walter
handguns were seized in Turkey, and that the guns which were
supposedly donated to the Iraqi army were used in the killing of a
Roman Catholic priest in Trabzon and the attack on the high court
Danistay which resulted in the killing of a high justice last year
in Ankara. The Austrian Interior Ministry has turned down a new
order of 100,000 Glock guns placed by the Americans for the Iraqi
army, saying the Glocks were seized in security operations against
terrorist organizations in Turkey. The German Interior Ministry,
citing similar concerns, also suspended Walter sales to the US which
were made through Poland, says Zaman.
Editorial Commentary on US-Pakistan
Kubilay Celik commented in the nationalist daily Tercuman: "Given
the situation between Iran and the US, Washington is in need of
Pakistan's cooperation. Among the countries surrounding Iran,
Pakistan remains the most significant for US interests. If and when
the US launches a military action against Iran, the Bush
administration will seek Pakistan's friendly helping hand.
Therefore, President Bush avoids making comments that may damage
Pakistani leader Musharraf. On the other hand, the military coup in
1999 was not enough for Musharraf, so he committed another one in
order to maintain his power. Bush, in return, advised him to
proceed with elections as scheduled, urging him not to act president
and chief of the army at the same time. While the US Congress is
asking for a comprehensive embargo against Pakistan, the Bush
administration is unwilling to implement it because of the Iran
issue. John Negroponte, assigned to calm down Congress, testified
at the House that Musharraf is an indispensable ally of the US in
the global fight against terrorism. According to the Bush
administration, while Musharaff's actions are not ideal for
democracy, he is not a disposable international partner for the US.
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The upcoming developments will be very interesting to watch."
NTV, 7.00 A.M.
- A T-38 Turkish military training plane crashed Thursday night
while trying to land in Cigli, near the Aegean city of Izmir,
killing two pilots.
- Yesterday, Turkish gypsies visited the European Parliament to
campaign against a municipality project to demolish their houses in
Istanbul's Sulukule district, saying reconstruction of the district
would destroy their identity.
- A boat carrying illegal migrants has capsized in the Dardanelles.
15 migrants are missing.
- The Turkish Parliament's Justice Commission has approved a bill
introducing new smoking bans in public buildings and cultural,
social and commercial places. The bill brings prison terms up to
one year for selling cigarettes to people under the age of 18.
- Kurdish regional administration president Massoud Barzani told
reporters in the city of Selahaddin that they were taking measures
against the PKK, but did not elaborate further.
- A day after the imposition of a state of emergency in Georgia,
President Saakashvili proposed presidential elections as a way to
resolve the country's political crisis.
- French President Sarkozy addressed Thursday a joint session of the
US Congress, hailing the friendship between the two countries.
- A survey published Wednesday shows only one in five Germans would
like to see the Berlin Wall back.