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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007

In Today's Papers

Basbug: Turkey in Process of Implementing Cross Border Operation
All papers report Turkish Land Forces Commander General Ilker
Basbug's comments that Turkey is "in the process of implementing" a
cross-border operation against the PKK in northern Iraq, but "when
or how" it will be implemented is "another issue." Basbug said the
Turkish military has been doing cross-border incursions for years
and it has been successful so far. "It is wrong to think that
terrorism will be eliminated with a cross-border operation, but it
is also wrong to think that such an operation will not yield
results," Basbug emphasized. General Basbug also appealed to the
Turkish press to "leave the decision-makers in peace during this
process."

Erdogan Opposes Lifting Kurdish DTP's Immunity
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan statements that his party
will not support the MHP motion to lift the parliamentary immunity
of the pro-Kurdish DTP deputies so that they can be prosecuted. "If
they find themselves outside the parliament, we would be sending
them to the mountains," Erdogan stressed. The PM also called on the
DTP to choose democracy over armed struggle.

'Jerusalem Meeting' in Istanbul Demands Liberation of Palestine
Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report on the
Jerusalem Meeting in Istanbul, which was organized by
Islamist-oriented Turkish NGOs and attended by 3000 members of
radical Islamist groups from 60 countries. The members of the
conference condemned Israel and called for the liberation of
Palestine. Representatives of Hamas, al-Fatah and the Jerusalem
Movement took part in the meeting. Reportedly, the participants
said that the Annapolis meeting to be held in the US was designed to
liquidate the Palestinian state.

Armenian Daily: Turkey Partially Closes Air Corridor for Armenian
Flights
Mainstream Milliyet reports the Armenian daily Azg claims Turkey has
partially closed its air corridor for Armenian flights between
Yerevan and Aleppo and Beirut. Armenian Airlines "Armavia" said
Turkey did not provide specifics other than "technical reasons" for
the closure. The Armenian Civic Aviation Institution said Turkey
did not close its airspace, and that flights from Yerevan to
Istanbul and other European cities continue. Azg writes that the
partial closure is Ankara's response to the developments concerning
efforts for international recognition of the alleged genocide
against Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915. Milliyet says if the
reports of closure are correct, it would mean the first serious
Turkish sanction against Armenia.

Gul to Pakistan to Meet Musharraf, Bhutto
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that President Abdullah Gul plans to
travel to Islamabad next month to meet President Pervez Musharraf,
opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and other opposition
representatives in an effort to help resolve the political crisis in
Pakistan. A Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) source said the date for
the visit has not been fixed yet. The US Administration has
welcomed Turkish efforts for defusing political tensions in
Pakistan, according to Hurriyet.

Editorial Opinion on Annapolis Summit, the PKK
Ferai Tinc commented in mainstream Hurriyet (11/16): "The Ankara
Forum prompted international expectations to rise for Turkey's
ability as a peacemaker. To a certain extent, Turkey is fulfilling
these expectations. Because of its policies of good relations with
its neighbors, Turkey is often called upon by regional actors for
assistance. Secretary Rice reiterated the importance of
international support for success at the Annapolis conference,
highlighting the importance of Turkey's role. Next week, the
invitee list will be announced and it is very possible that Turkey
will be included. The agenda of the meeting is not clear yet, but

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foreign ministers of the EU Countries will discuss the issue on
Monday. The Annapolis Conference is like a knife's edge. Maybe
this is the last chance for moderate politics to win against
radicalism. If this conference is not successful, then there will
be no future either for the West Bank or for Mahmoud Abbas. The
sounds of war supporters will be heard from everywhere."

Bilal Cetin commented in the mainstream Vatan (11/16): "Following
the Bush-Erdogan meeting on November 5, no details were disclosed
other than President Bush declaring that PKK an enemy of the US and
that to eliminate the PKK, intelligence will be shared. Before he
left for Prague, PM Erdogan told journalists that 'there is no
possibility of a cross-border operation at the moment. Our priority
is for the weapons to be laid down'. These remarks explain that,
following his meeting with Bush, Erdogan is waiting for the PKK to
lay down its arms. This means the US doesn't support Turkey's CBO
into northern Iraq, but rather wants improved relations between
Turkey and the northern Iraqi Administration. At the same time, the
US is aware that if terrorist activities continue, a CBO is
inevitable. That is why it favors a formula that doesn't require a
cross border operation. The PKK should be forced to disarm and
Kurdish leaders Barzani and Talabani must support this effort.
Currently, Peshmerge units are intensifying their activities along
the border and the PKK is under intense pressure to disarm. Turks
want Kurds to understand that if the PKK does not disarm, the US and
the Iraqi Administrations will support a cross border operation..
Therefore, the reason for postponing any operation is to give the US
and Kurdish Regional Authority time to disarm the PKK."

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Prime Minister Erdogan will visit Azerbaijan on November 16-17 to
participate in the 11th "Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation
Assembly of Turkish States and Communities."

- The Turkish Parliament's human rights commission is to look into
the complaints filed by gypsies who have been displaced from their
homes in Istanbul's Sulukule neighborhood.

- Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said that a third bridge over
the Bosporus in Istanbul will be constructed in the north of the
city.

- State Minister Mehmet Simsek said the Turkish lira was too strong,
but adds that the government will not meddle in Central Bank
decisions.

International News

- State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the US will be
counting on Turkey's political diplomatic and economic support to
"help Israel and Palestine move forward on the two-state solution
track."

- The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report Iran has
become more transparent in its nuclear activities, but that it is
providing "diminishing" information about its nuclear program.

- Russia has completed the withdrawal of soldiers based in Georgia
since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

- Russia has been convicted by the European Court of Human Rights in
three suits related to execution without trial, missing persons and
property rights in Chechnya.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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