Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO0795
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0817/01 1201358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291358Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6117
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8852
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4170
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2891
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6575
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6404
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2980
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 000817

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
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2008


In Today's Papers

Istanbul Governor Warns against May 1 Rally in Taksim
All media outlets report Istanbul Governor Guler told the press
Monday he would not allow the labor unions to rally in Taksim Square
in the heart of Istanbul on May 1 because they had received tip offs
for armed attacks on the demonstrators. Guler warned police would
use force to stop the demonstrators from entering Taksim. Papers
recall Guler was criticized for police brutality during last year's
May 1 demonstrations and blame the governor for instructing police
to beat the workers again this year. Liberal Radikal says labor
unions will defy Guler, and insist on using their "constitutional
and international rights" to stage peaceful demonstrations. Prime
Minister Erdogan will hold a meeting with labor union
representatives today, papers report.

Babacan: Turkish Meetings with Northern Iraq to Intensify
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Taraf, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others
report Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkish meetings with
the Kurdish Regional Administration (KRG) representatives in
northern Iraq would intensify. "You might expect more contacts at
different levels with the administration in northern Iraq," said
Babacan, stressing such dialogue would be important both for the
fight against the PKK and the economic relations with Iraq. Papers
expect Turkey's special Iraq envoy Ambassador Murat Ozcellik to
travel to northern Iraq soon to meet KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan
Barzani. Liberal Radikal claims Ozcellik would also meet with KRG
President Massoud Barzani.

Ankara Wants to Host Middle East Peace Summit
All papers report in a press conference on Monday, Foreign Minister
Ali Babacan said Turkey would play an intermediate for a while in
the talks between Israel and Syria. At this stage there are no
plans to bring together officials of the two countries, Babacan
said, adding Turkey would continue to act as an intermediate to
encourage the sides to restart direct negotiations.
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak claims Ankara wants to host a Middle
East summit. Babacan added diplomatic efforts had been continuing
for a year, and noted that both sides had asked Turkey for help.
Meanwhile, Radikal and Yeni Safak cite the Israeli daily Haaretz'
report that Prime Minister Erdogan would send his foreign policy
advisor, Ahmet Davutoglu, to Jerusalem to brief Prime Minister
Olmert about the PM's talks with President Asad. Haaretz cites a
source in Jerusalem who claims that Turkey is seeking a compromise
that would allow peace talks between Israel and Syria to begin.

Columnist Akif Emre wonders about Turkey's enthusiasm in Islamist
Yeni Safak: "Both the government and media are drawing an
enthusiastic picture of a Syria-Israel peace without even
considering whether the conditions are right to accomplish this
goal. Syria should be the most enthusiastic one about this peace
initiative given Israeli military supremacy over Syria and Iran. On
the other hand, Syria has strategic relations with Iran and supports
Hizbullah. Without the armed resistance of Hizbullah, Israel would
probably never think about a peace deal with Syria. We shall see
who and what will be 'sold' by the Asad administration in exchange
for peace with Israel. As for Israel, a peace deal with Syria will
ensure border security and push Iran out of the regional
equilibrium. However, there is also a question mark if Israel, from
an internal political dynamics perspective, has enough political
will to conclude a peace deal with Syria. And does the US
administration have the will to pressure for peace in the Middle
East? There is a price for Turkey in all of this as well. Water
resources will be one of the most critical aspects in a possible
Syria-Israel peace deal. Even if Israel withdraws from the Golan
Heights, it will not give up its authority over water resources.
And Turkey will have to be asked to supply water either to Israel or
to Syria. In other words, Turkey, while being a mediator, will end
up paying the water bill."


ANKARA 00000817 002 OF 003


Editorial Opinion on Afghanistan:
"Afghanistan: A New Iraq?"
Sami Kohen wrote in mainstream Milliyet (4/29): "The recent
assassination attempt against Afghan President Karzai indicates that
the country is becoming another Iraq when it comes to security and
stability. This was the fourth armed attack against Karzai in his
seven year term, and it may not be the last. The fact is that those
who are against the Afghani regime are capable enough to attack the
president at the very heart of country's capital city. The Taliban
gained a psychological victory with this attack. After gaining full
control over the eastern provinces of Afghanistan, they have started
to attack in the cities. The situation in Kabul is a serious blow
against the US and its allies. The reason for the US invasion was
to save Afghanistan from the archaic Taliban regime. Seven years
later, the mission seems unaccomplished, and the Taliban seems to be
resurrecting everywhere, even in the capital city. Since the
majority of coalition forces do not have combat roles, the Taliban
can operate rather freely. Unless the international community moves
towards a more significant presence in Afghanistan, things will
continue to work in favor of Taliban."

Norway Does not Support PKK
Liberal Radikal and tabloid Aksam report that Norwegian Foreign
Minister Stoere is coming to Ankara tomorrow to improve tense
relations between Norway and Turkey. Responding to questions from
Turkish press prior to his visit, FM Stoere said "Turkey is our NATO
ally and has a significant geo-politic importance. Turkey is like a
bridge uniting a diversity of religions, cultures and customs. We
have joint views under the NATO umbrella. We have a good dialog
based on mutual respect and we want to continue this dialog."
Responding to a question on the PKK, Stoere said "We don't call the
PKK a terrorist organization because we accept the UN's terrorist
list, not with the EU's. Before defining an organization, we prefer
to follow its activities and then decide. We never supported the
PKK. We are Turkey's ally and close to Turkey, not the PKK".

Provocation in Sakarya
All papers report that tensions escalated in northwestern province
Sakarya on Sunday when about one thousand nationalists attempted to
raid a gathering organized by the DTP. Mainstream Sabah reports
that around 800 people attending DTP's "peace and brotherhood night"
remained locked in a wedding hall for seven hours. One person at
the age of 65 died of heart attack in the hall.

Military Court Releases DTP Chairman Nurettin Demirtas
Hurriyet, Sabah, Milliyet, Yeni Safak, Vatan, and others: A
military court released 52 people including DTP Chairman Nurettin
Demirtas in the court case on charges of producing fake health
documents to evade military service, pending trial.

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- Labor unions insist on celebrating May Day in Taksim Square
despite warnings by Istanbul Governor that Taksim would not be open
to rallies.

- A court in Istanbul said Monday Trabzon police officials erased
the records of the phone conversations made by Erhan Tuncel, a key
suspect in the murder of Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink.

- The Chief of the military General Staff (TGS) Yasar Buyukanit said
the soldiers killed by terrorists increased the military's
determination to combat terror.

International News

- The Financial Times writes Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, has

ANKARA 00000817 003 OF 003


failed to implement further reforms and is locked in arm-wrestling
with the judiciary.

- More than 700 antiquities stolen during the invasion of Iraq in
2003 were returned to the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad. The
museum remains closed to the public due to the violence and lack of
security.

- Israel says it has launched a new communications satellite from
Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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: