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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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DE RUEHAK #0640/01 0951340
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5809
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8804
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4084
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2834
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6520
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6361
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2936
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 000640

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, APRIL 4, 2008


In Today's Papers

The Enigma of Europe's Terrorist List
All papers report on the European Court's decision to exclude the
PKK from the EU's list of designated terrorist organizations.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that the European Court of
Justice ruled on a case submitted by Osman Ocalan that appealed for
the PKK's removal from the EU's terrorist list. The court decided
the 2002 ruling, in which the PKK was added to the list of terrorist
organizations, was wrong because, "the PKK organization was not
given the right to defend itself." Papers report that the EU
Council declared that the EU Court decision will not have any impact
on the EU's list of terrorist organizations.

Mainstream Sabah says both the AKP and opposition parties reacted by
saying that such decisions do not comply with the principles of
fighting against terrorism. Far right Tercuman writes, "Turkey
abides by all EU demands, but the EU took another step toward
dismembering Turkey," and the paper called the ruling,
"treacherous." Mainstream Aksam writes in its banner headline,
"This is European Justice," and notes, "The PKK is removed from
Europe's list of terror organizations." Mainstream Milliyet's
headline reads, "Ankara is Shocked by the European Court of
Justice's Ruling," but the article notes, "the ruling was only
related to procedural flaws." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet calls
the European terror list, "a mystery." However, Islamist-oriented
Zaman notes, "The EU's Opposition Emerges to the Decision Against
the European Court; The PKK is a Terrorist Organization," as EU
Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn's spokesperson said, "the EU
accepts that the PKK is a terrorist organization." Meanwhile, DTP
Batman deputy Bengi Yildiz said, "this decision is a positive
development; law should speak rather than guns."

Strong Messages from PM Erdogan to the EU
All papers: During his address to the Turkey-Sweden Business Forum
in Stockholm, PM Erdogan called on the EU to be clear about Turkey's
membership. Erdogan reiterated Turkey's determined efforts towards
EU reforms, but noted that Turkey's patience is not endless.
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak's banner headline carries Prime Minster
Erdogan's message to the EU during his meetings in Sweden, "If You
Will Not Take Us, Don't Delay Us," noting the PM said, "Turkey is
tired of the EU saying 'but,' 'however,' and 'if.'" Yeni Safak and
Zaman both carry Erdogan's statement, "We are really tired of this.
If EU countries openly say they do not want us, we will be able to
focus on solving our own problems."

NATO Summit's Scorecard of Victories
Sabah, Milliyet, Vatan, Aksam, and others: Mainstream Sabah's
headline reads like a scorecard, "NATO: 2 - Bush: 1." The paper
notes President Bush did not find support for his combat troop
request for Afghanistan and the countries he supported for NATO
membership, Ukraine and Georgia, were not accepted as members.
However, President Bush gained NATO approval for the installation of
a U.S.-led missile defense shield throughout Europe.

Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet writes under the headline, "A
Threatening Wave Strikes the Summit," that "Bush made a call that
smelled like a threat concerning more troops in Afghanistan" while
Russian President Putin, "warned of a deep crisis if Ukraine and
Georgia joined NATO," but that "Germany and France vetoed the new
members." In addition, the paper notes, "Turkey, Greece and
Bulgaria will join the NATO missile defense program against
short-range missiles," but that "Putin is coming to the summit today
and his response to the missile defense expansion is awaited with
anxiety." Islamist-oriented Zaman writes about the German and
French vetoes against the membership of Ukraine and Georgia in
"Putin's Victory," that "in this case, Moscow used its energy power
as a successful tool of foreign policy." Liberal Radikal calls the
vetoes against Ukraine, Georgia, and Macedonia, a "Victory for
Moscow and Athens," as "NATO took note of Russia's red line," and

ANKARA 00000640 002 OF 003


"Greek pressure prevented Macedonia's membership." Leftist Taraf
writes, "Bush Didn't Get Anything He Wanted," as "in response to his
demands for more troops in Afghanistan, only Paris and Prague agreed
to support him," and "Ukraine, Georgia and Macedonia's memberships
were blocked."

Europe Reacts to the AKP Closure Case
Mainstream Milliyet reports that co-chairman of the Turkey-EU joint
parliamentary commission Joost Lagendijk spoke during a meeting
regarding Turkey's EU accession negotiations. Lagendik said, "The
closure of the AKP should be prevented and the government should
prepare an extensive reform package that prevents the closure of the
political parties." EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said,
"the suit filed against the AKP was against the Venice Criteria
because the relevant criteria justify party closure only if there is
violence involved."

The PKK's Internal Turmoil
Milliyet, Zaman: Papers report turmoil within the highest ranks of
the PKK. PKK leader Abdulkerim Ertas was killed recently during
clashes with the Turkish military in the Bestler-Dereler region.
According to reports based on wiretaps of PKK radio communications,
PKK members are accusing leader Fehman Huseyin (code name Dr.
Bahroz) for leading Ertas and PKK fighters into the deadly
Bestler-Dereler clashes.

EDITORIAL OPINION: NATO

"Putin's NATO Victory"
Faruk Akkan wrote in Islamist-leaning Zaman (4/4): "By blocking
Ukraine and Georgia's membership to NATO, Russian President Putin
claimed an historic victory. He has worked hard to prevent NATO's
extension toward the heart of the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS); with this victory he also ensured Russian military presence
in the Black Sea. All of this comes as a result of the Kremlin's
long-term strategic planning, including its effective use of
security and energy influence. Putin's trump card was the
possibility of a hot conflict in the Caucasus region if NATO
expanded toward Ukraine and Georgia; he used this as a threat to
Europe's oil supply routes. A crisis in that region is the last
thing NATO needs. Speculations continue regarding Putin's
concessions in exchange for blocking NATO's expansion. Russia may
allow its territory to be used for Afghanistan operations; military
bases in the CIS countries may also contribute. During the
Bush-Putin summit, the two leaders are expected to sign a bilateral
strategic agreement regarding short and mid term goals regarding
this."

"Bush and Afghanistan"
Haluk Ulman wrote in business daily Dunya (4/4): "The NATO summit
proves George Bush is focusing heavily on international issues
before his presidential term comes to an end. Afghanistan appears
to be the prime concern for the Bush administration. In fact,
Afghanistan has become a benchmark for success for NATO in its fight
against Al-Qaeda; developments in Afghanistan will shape the future
of the Alliance. Therefore President Bush urged NATO members to be
more engaged in the ongoing efforts by sending combat troops to
Afghanistan. NATO will gain enormous credibility if NATO defeats
the Taliban and Al-Qaeda; but also, Kabul's full authority must be
reestablished throughout the country. Otherwise, NATO may lose its
'raison d'etre,' particularly in this post-Soviet Union era. If
NATO loses the struggle with the Taliban, nobody will take the
Alliance seriously. There is, however, no consensus among NATO
members regarding the nature of commitment for Afghanistan. Bush
pursued his 'use of force' policy in Iraq, which ended with a
complete failure. Even NATO's Secretary General, in 2006, said, 'a
military solution would not be the best option for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan needs economic development, education and
infrastructure."


ANKARA 00000640 003 OF 003


Final Court Ruling Against Saudi Businessman on the UN Terrorism
Financers List
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and Radikal report the final ruling
by Turkey's Danistay (High Court of Appeals for Administrative
Affairs) on the status of Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi's
financial assets in Turkey. When his name was added to the UN's
terrorism financers list on September 28, 2001, al-Qadi's financial
assets in Turkey were frozen. Following a series of appeals by
al-Qadi's lawyers to overturn the ruling against him, the Danistay
issued its final decision yesterday that his assets will remain
frozen.

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

The Court of Appeals sentenced former RP Chairman Necmettin Erbakan
to 2 years and 4 months imprisonment, which will be served at home.


The last War of Independence veteran, Yakup Satar, passed away at
the age of 109. His funeral ceremony was held in Eskisehir.

Turkish Cypriot President Talat warns that the suit seeking a ban
against the AKP will have an impact on the Cyprus issue.


International News

Ledra Street in Nicosia/Lefkosa reopened for the first time in 44
years on Thursday. The street is a main shopping street in the
capital of Cyprus that has symbolized the island's partition.

China banned imports of poultry products from Turkey in an effort to
prevent the spread of bird flu.

A veteran activist who staged a solo protest last year against
Myanmar's military junta has been sentenced to life in prison.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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