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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002818

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 23, 2007

In Today's Papers

Lagendijk on DTP, the PKK, Article 301
All papers report that, during Thursday's meeting in the Turkish
parliament, the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission condemned
the PKK. The commission co-chair, Joost Lagendijk, told the press
after the meeting that the DTP must put "a clear distance" between
itself and the PKK. "The PKK might want the DTP kicked out of the
Turkish Parliament; but Turkey must not fall into this trap,"
Lagendijk said. He further stressed that the DTP's presence in the
parliament was an opportunity and warned that disbanding the party
would not be good for Turkey. Lagendijk also advised Turkey to
establish contact with the Kurdish regional administration in
northern Iraq. Concerning the recent change in EU attitudes toward
the PKK, Lagendijk said, "ten years ago, we had less information and
were acting foolishly." He also said article 301 of the Turkish
Penal Code harms the image of Turkey. "There are pledges, but no
action; Turkey must do something on 301 and deprive its enemies of
their weapon."

Karayilan, Bayik in US Custody in Iraq
Mainstream Vatan writes that PKK leaders Murat Karayilan and Cemil
Bayik are in US military custody in Iraq. The paper quotes an
unidentified military source who says Karayilan and Bayik will be
brought to Turkey in a few days. It also claims the handover will
take place once the AKP government unveils its political plan to
deal with the the PKK. Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet also reports
Murat Karayilan and Cemal Bayik were captured in Mount Kandil. The
paper, however, carries Interior Minister Besir Atalay's response to
the press that he had "no information" regarding their capture.
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak also says the capture of Karayilan and
Bayik was not confirmed.

US Urges Ankara to Bring Syria, Saudi Arabia to Annapolis
Mainstream Hurriyet claims the US Administration has urged Ankara to
use its influence on Syria and Saudi Arabia to persuade them to join
the Middle East peace summit in Annapolis. Following Washington's
request, Ankara intensified diplomatic initiatives with the two
countries. Turkey believes the resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to solving other regional
problems, so they are urging Damascus to join the Annapolis talks.
In addition, the paper reports Turkey is trying to discourage Riyadh
from insisting that the Saudi-led Arab Peace Plan be discussed at
Annapolis.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Annapolis Conference

Kubilay Celik commented in the nationalist daily Tercuman: "The US
has invited nearly 40 countries and organizations to the Annapolis
conference. In fact, the primary actors at this conference are
Israel and Palestine. Turkey has become a part of the Annapolis
Meeting due to its own vigilant efforts for peace in the Middle
East. Given the past record of similar meetings, the Annapolis
meeting has almost no chance for success. Peace is a very remote
possibility, especially while Hamas and al Fatah are engaging in
civil war. Undoubtedly, any Arab countries not invited to the
conference will do their best to undermine the process. There have
been many peace conferences around the world during the last 30
years, yet none of them achieved success. As far as Annapolis is
concerned, peace between Israel and Palestine is unlikely."

Serdar Turgut commented in the mainstream daily Aksam: "As Bush's
term draws to an end, he has started to make efforts toward peace in
the Middle East. Evidently, he feels he must achieve some sort of
success before leaving office. So far, the ongoing events are not
positive for Washington. The Iraq situation is an obvious failure.
Pakistan is in chaos, Georgia is on the road to chaos, and both of
them are supported by the Bush administration. In that regard, the
Bush administration needs Turkey's help as Washington struggles to
correct its image. Thus, the peace effort between Israel and

ANKARA 00002818 002 OF 002


Palestine is an imminent priority. The Annapolis Conference works
positively for the Bush administration only in terms of timing.
However, the conference is unlikely to produce successful results.
Washington, on the other hand, hopes to make gains for just being
able to start the process."

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- The Constitutional Court will make a decision on a prosecutor's
request to suspend all DTP members from politics until the end of
the trial to disband the party.

- Four suspects believed to be the members of the fundamentalist
IBDA-C terror organization have been arrested in security operations
in Izmir.

- Prime Minister Erdogan said that it is a violation of human rights
to require Turkish brides to speak German before being allowed to
enter Germany.

- Turkey's High Board of Privatization (OYK) approved the sale of a
51 percent stake in petrochemicals company Petkim, paving the way
for a handover to its new owners, Azerbaijani energy firm Socar,
Saudi-based Injaz Projects and Turkey's Turcas -- the second-highest
bidders in a tender in July.

International News

- The New York Times quotes US military officials as saying that
more than half of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past
year arrived from Saudi Arabia and Libya.

- The Associated Press says the allegations raised against its
photographer detained by the US for 19 months in Iraq are false or
meaningless.

- An explosion aboard a bus in Russia's North Ossetia region has
killed at least four people and injured 10.

- Public transport workers across France voted to suspend their
strike.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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