Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO3126
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0072/01 0141426
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141426Z JAN 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4920
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8608
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3736
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2601
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6353
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6178
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2761
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFISS/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFISS/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFISS/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFISS/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000072

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
MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2008


ANKARA 00000072 001.2 OF 003


In Today's Papers

AKP Reaches Out to Alevis
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak
and others report Prime Minister Erdogan said he would not remain
indifferent to the demands of the Alevi community in Turkey. "We
have not received any, but if we do, we will consider requests
coming from the country's Alevis for their meeting and prayer houses
(Cemevi) to be officially recognized as places of worship," said
Erdogan. The PM noted such requests would be met under the existing
laws.

On Friday, Erdogan, together with nine cabinet ministers and over 50
AKP lawmakers, participated in an Alevi fast-breaking dinner in
Ankara. More than 270 Alevi organizations were invited, but only
six of them joined the event. Radikal, Cumhuriyet and several
mainstream papers say Alevis doubt the government's sincerity. The
Alevis and opposition CHP believe the government aims at winning the
Alevi votes before the forthcoming municipality elections next year,
say papers.

Erdogan said during a visit to Berlin in 2003 that Alevism was not a
religion, and that Cemevi were a place for cultural activities while
the mosque was the only place of worship for Muslims. Alevis also
remember that the head of the Diyanet, Professor Ali Bardakoglu, has
always argued that recognition of Cemevis places of worship could
harm national unity, say papers.

Barzani: "We're not Obliged to See the PKK as Terrorist"
Hurriyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet and others report Massoud Barzani, the
leader of Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq, said
they were not obliged to brand the PKK as a terrorist organization,
and added that they were not supporting Turkish military operations
into northern Iraq. "We're ready to help if Turkey adopts a
peaceful attitude towards the resolution of the problem. We will do
our best if the US, Turkey, and the international balances
contribute to the resolution of the PKK question," Barzani told a
joint news conference with visiting Italian Deputy Foreign Minister
Giovanni Vernetti in the city of Selahaddin. Italy accepts the PKK
as a terror organization, Vernetti said, adding, however, that
Turkish cross border military operations harm northern Iraq.

CHP to Prepare "Kurdish Report"
Mainstream Sabah and liberal Radikal report the main opposition CHP
is to prepare a "Kurdish report" which will be based on two earlier
CHP reports released between 1989-1995. CHP wants the report ready
prior to a party convention in March at which a special commission
will be set up to work on it. CHP board member Sinan Yerlikaya said
it has become clear that military measures alone were not sufficient
to resolve the Kurdish question. "The recognition of the Kurdish
identity and the use of their language as well as legal guarantees
for the development of the Kurdish culture are necessary steps,"
said Yerlikaya.

Iranian President Ahmedinejad to Come to Turkey
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that the Tehran
administration, as a counter attack for growing international
pressure against its nuclear program, is preparing a regional tour
by President Ahmedinejad. Following the natural gas crisis with
Iran, Ahmedinejad is expected in Turkey by the end of February. A
request for the visit came from the Tehran Administration in
December 2007, but because of President Gul's visit to the US Tehran
was not given a date. Paper reports that Secretary Rice also is
expected to come to Turkey mid-February.

Drug Usage Increased Among Turkish Students
Mainstream Hurriyet cites 'The European Monitoring Center for Drugs
and Drug Addiction' report which claims that ten percent of all
students in Turkey use illicit drugs. The same report claims that
between 30-44 percent of students in Belgium, Ireland, France, Spain

ANKARA 00000072 002.2 OF 003


and Britain use drugs.

Editorial Commentary on President Bush's Middle East Tour
Sedat Sertoglu opined in mainstream Aksam (1/14): "President Bush
made an amazing remark, expecting peace between Israel and Palestine
by early 2009. Looking at his statement, one wonders whether he had
no idea about the region or whether he was joking. A real peace in
the Middle East calls for an agreement among Palestinians first.
Giving the current circumstances, if Palestinian leader Abbas makes
any efforts towards a Palestinian state, it will have to be limited
to the West Bank area. There are 1.5 million people living in the
Gaza area but it is under Hamas' control. How can we talk about a
state of Palestine while Hamas groups in Gaza and Abbas groups in
the West Bank continue to attack and kill each other? Moreover,
Hamas has another goal which is to demolish Israel completely.
Looking at all of these facts, there is absolutely no room for
optimism in the year 2008."

Ceyda Karan wrote in intellectual-liberal Radikal (1/14): "During
his final days in office as a lame duck, President George Bush spoke
sweetly during his holy land tour. He said peace between Israeli and
Palestine was possible and added that it was even possible to
achieve this goal in 2008. He called on Israel to end the 1967
occupation. Furthermore, he remembered Palestinian refugees who had
to leave their homes during the establishment of the Israeli state.
However the US President, having committed himself to a peace
agreement between Israel and Palestine, is acting as if he is not
aware of these basic facts. The fact of the matter is that it was
President Bush, himself, who practically gave support to Israel's
expansionist policy with the new Jewish settlements. Those
settlements not only violated the US' Middle East roadmap, but also
became the most important obstacle to peace. President Bush also
spoke as if peace could be achieved between Israel and the
Palestinian Administration leader Mahmud Abbas who is only in
control of the West Bank. While Hamas remains in the Gaza Strip,
even Israelis personally say that there could be no peace with
Abbas."

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News
- Over the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren paid visits to
the mainly Kurdish provinces Batman and Sirnak to discuss steps for
tackling economic problems in the region.

- The second hearing in the trial of the suspects for the slaying of
three Christian Bible publishers in Malatya last year will be held
Monday.

- On January 19, Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO) will hold a meeting
to discuss the ruling AKP government decision to move the Central
Bank and the state-owned banks to Istanbul.

- The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe (PACE), Rene van der Linden, will visit Ankara for talks with
President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, and some
AKP leaders.

International News

- President Abdullah Gul is to travel to Egypt from January 14-16
for talks with President Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian PM and FM as
well as Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa in Cairo. Gul will
also visit the port city of Alexandria.

- Prime Minister Erdogan will visit Madrid to participate in the
First Alliance of Civilizations Forum on January 15-16. On Monday,
Erdogan is scheduled to hold talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose
Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and King Juan Carlos.

ANKARA 00000072 003.2 OF 003

- White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush discussed
the Strait of Hormuz incident with Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, the
commander of the Fifth Fleet, who stressed that his forces took it
"deadly seriously."

- French President Sarkozy has kicked off a three-day trip to the
Middle East on Sunday. Sarkozy is expected to sign a nuclear
cooperation deal with the United Arab Emirates.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: