Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO0469
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0464/01 0701440
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101440Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5532
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8737
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3973
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2760
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6463
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6298
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2877
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 000464

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, MARCH 10, 2008


In Today's Papers

President Talabani Visits Turkey
All papers report Iraqi President Jalal Talabani visited Ankara on
Friday. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and President Talabani held
a joint press conference after their discussions. During the press
conference, Gul said, "Turkey has a vision of an Iraq which has
completed its national reconciliation and maintains good relations
with its neighbors."

"When the great potential between our two countries is materialized,
an exemplary relationship will emerge for the region," Gul said.
Gul called on the PKK to lay down their arms. Talabani said, "The
Kurdish Regional Administration (KRA) is pressuring the PKK in
northern Iraq to either lay down their arms or leave Iraq."
Talabani emphasized that "Iraq's constitution does not allow for
armed groups' presence on Iraqi soil." Talabani said a political
solution to the problem is an issue that concerns Turkey, adding
that Iraq would not interfere in this matter, "We want to establish
strong relations in all areas, including political, commercial,
economic, oil, security, and cultural relations." The Iraqi
President also noted President Gul accepted an invitation to visit
Iraq.

Islamist-oriented Zaman writes Ankara was pleased with Talabani's
promises, but noted reservations regarding the implementation of his
pledges. Talabani urged Turkish businessmen to make investments in
'Kurdistan,' weekend papers report. Papers stressed this was the
first time a guest of the presidential palace used the word
'Kurdistan.' However, Zaman calls the visit "a new page in
Turkish-Iraqi ties." Mainstream Sabah says Gul delivered three main
messages to Talabani, "PKK terror must end, compromise on Kirkuk is
critical, and Turkey is ready to be Iraq's gate to Europe once the
PKK is eliminated." Mainstream Hurriyet reports over the weekend
that Talabani recommended to Gul and the AKP government that the
Turkish public prepare itself for the recognition of the Kurdish
reality. "The Kirkuk issue needs to be resolved among the Turkmen,
the Kurds, and the Arabs. The Americans have not been able to
finish off the Taliban or al-Qaeda. Along those same lines, Turkey
needs new approaches in order to finish off the PKK," Talabani said
according to Hurriyet. Leftist nationalist Cumhuriyet expects a
"four-sided mechanism" to be set up among Ankara, Washington,
Baghdad, and Erbil to counter terrorism. KRA Prime Minister
Nechirvan Barzani is expected to be invited to Turkey after
Talabani's visit. Talabani's advisor Azad Cundiyani is quoted by
papers as saying "the Turkish delegation to Iraq will meet Nechirvan
Barzani in Baghdad after the Arab Parliamentarians' Summit talks in
Erbil from March 11-13."

Editorial Commentary on the Talabani Visit to Ankara

"A New Wheel Turns Toward a Comprehensive Plan"
Hasan Cemal wrote in mainstream Milliyet (3/9): "While my
colleagues and I were talking to President Talabani during his visit
to Ankara, one issue was disclosed openly: Following Turkey's land
operation, a new wheel is starting to turn. It is my understanding
that the wheel will start to turn between Ankara, Baghdad, and
Washington. Then, Erbil, meaning the Iraqi Regional Kurdistan
Administration, will join. Talabani told Ankara that in order to
improve relations with the Regional Kurdish Administration's leader
Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish Administration's Prime Minister
Nechirvan Barzani should be invited to Ankara. Talabani promised a
healthy foundation for such a visit and the Turkish side did not
reject this offer. When asked whether the PKK could declare a
cease-fire, Talabani said "there are signals that there is major
pressure from Baghdad, Washington and Erbil on the PKK for a
cease-fire." Talabani added that "Barzani keeps saying the PKK will
either lay down its arms or leave Iraqi territory for good."
However, Talabani said it is not possible for them or the Americans
to eradicate the PKK in northern Iraq through military means. One

ANKARA 00000464 002 OF 003


other impression I got from the meeting with Talabani and his
delegation is that Prime Minister Erdogan is planning a visit to the
Southeast with some new messages. In other words, following the
military operation, the AKP government is starting a new civil
operation regarding the PKK and Kurdish issues. In short, this new
wheel could open positive gates regarding the PKK and Kurdish
issues."

A Surprise Visit
Yilmaz Oztuna commented in conservative-nationalist Turkiye (3/10):
"Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's short visit to Ankara attracted
attention. Turkey and Iraq agreed on bilateral friendship and Iraqi
territorial integrity. Discussions also included increasing annual
bilateral trade from $4 billion to $20 billion. Talabani, together
with Barzani, established the autonomous Kurdistan region in
northern Iraq. Talabani was picked by the US to replace Saddam
Hussein as the Iraqi President. Prior to this, Iraqis could not
even imagine a Kurd would ever be president of Iraq. However, US
failures in Iraq now make many Iraqis long for the old days of
Saddam. Talabani spoke just like the Americans in Turkey and urged
Turkey to meet with Barzani in order to eradicate the PKK. Turkey
definitely wants Iraq to maintain its integrity, and this is the
correct policy. Unfortunately, our good wishes are not enough.
Iraqi integrity remains in suspense as Iraq struggles to remain
stable."

Erdogan Will Present a New Kurdish Package in Diyarbakir April 6
Mainstream Sabah reports Mehmet Metiner, a former advisor to the
prime minister on Kurdish issues, says Erdogan is expected to
announce measures that will make the PKK militants in the mountains
return home. The announcement is expected during the prime
minister's trip to Diyarbakir on April 6th. Metiner adds these
development measures will deal a heavy blow to the DTP in the
upcoming municipality elections. He noted it was essential that the
government resolves the employment problems in the region as well.
Metiner said Erdogan will tell the people in the region that Turkey
has entered into the process of seeking a solution.
Assassination Plot Foiled
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Taraf, Zaman and others report
police have captured three suspects from the extreme leftist DHKP-C
group (Dev-Yol) who were plotting to assassinate Prime Minister
Erdogan and carry out attacks on American economic interests in
Turkey. The suspects were planning to use remote-controlled toy
cars to attack the prime minister's convoy. Police seized 35 kg of
ammonium nitrate, a Kalashnikov rifle, and remote-controlled toys
that had been transformed into bombs.

Controversy Continues over Compulsory Religious Classes in Turkey
Mainstream Milliyet and Sabah report Alevi organizations in Turkey
called for an investigation against Education Minister Huseyin
Celik. Celik rejected the Council of State (Danistay) decision
which deemed compulsory religious education a violation of the
Constitution. Celik is refusing to implement the decision. The
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in October 2007 that
compulsory religious education in Turkey was a violation of freedom
of education.

Turkey Lobbies for Recognition of Kosovo
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Turkey will put pressure on the
members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to
recognize Kosovo. Foreign Minister Babacan is attending the OIC
summit in Dakar, Senegal, which begins today. Egypt, Indonesia,
Azerbaijan, and Sudan are working against the recognition of Kosovo,
reports Zaman.

Sweden Will Send Iraqi Refugees Back Home
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Tobias Billstrom, Sweden's
migration minister, said about 1,700 Iraqi refugees will be returned
to Iraq. Yusuf Aziz, the Kurdish Regional Administration (KRA)
minister for human rights, said the refugees would not be allowed

ANKARA 00000464 003 OF 003


into the Kurdish region. Billstrom said the refugees would be
deported from Sweden, even if the KRA doesn't accept them.

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- Today, the second annual "Global Terrorism and International
Cooperation" conference will be held in Ankara. NATO general staff
chiefs, high-level US military officials, academics, statesmen, and
experts from various countries will participate in the meetings.
General Yasar Buyukanit, the Chief of the military General Staff,
will deliver the opening speech.

- Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan will meet with
pro-Kurdish DTP MPs today to discuss a democratic solution to the
Kurdish question. The DTP also wants meetings with the prime
minister and the president, but Gul and Erdogan have not responded
to their request.

- Murat Ozcelik has been officially appointed as the Turkish special
envoy to Iraq. Ozcelik's predecessor, Oguz Celikkol, was appointed
Turkey's Ambassador to Greece.

- The southeastern city of Gaziantep will host the 3rd Iraq
International Fair from May 22-25.

International News

- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved plans to build hundreds of new
Israeli homes near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

- Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili says his country is
ready to negotiate with Europe over its nuclear program if there are
practical results.

- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agrees to join the
late Benazir Bhutto's party in a coalition government.

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:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC