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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000899

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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, MAY 9, 2008


In Today's Papers

Earthquake Warning from Kandilli Observatory
All papers give extensive coverage to the warning from Kandilli
Observatory and Seismology Institute Director Gulay Altay, who
stated, "There is seismic activity in the northern and southern
parts of the Marmara Sea, as well as in Saros bay. The earthquake
risk is still high." Mainstream Sabah quotes Altay as saying, "A
five or six point magnitude earthquake will occur in Turkey. This
information should be communicated to the people by the experts as
clearly as possible."

Turkey - KRG Rapprochement; DTP Delegation Meets with KRG
Representatives
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak, Vatan and others:
Liberal Radikal reports that Ankara decided to intensify its
dialogue with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern
Iraq. A delegation of Turkish officials headed by Turkey's special
envoy to Iraq Murat Ozcelik will go to northern Iraq next week to
meet with KRG President Massoud Barzani. Radikal notes that U.S.
Ambassador Ross Wilson told reporters, "The U.S. has worked hard to
include the Kurdish administration in the fight against PKK. In
time, dialogue will intensify and will produce more visible and
concrete results." Mainstream Milliyet reports that KRG Prime
Minister Nechirvan Barzani told the press, "We want good relations
with Turkey. We do not support PKK violence in Turkey and we do not
condone the PKK's practice of launching attacks against Turkey from
northern Iraq. We are not responsible for PKK attacks and we have
no influence over the organization. However, we can exert efforts
towards a political solution to the issue."

Meanwhile, papers report that KRG President Massoud Barzani rejected
a meeting request from Turkey's DTP delegation. The delegation, led
by Ahmet Turk, is in northern Iraq for meetings with Iraqi
officials.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Turkey-Iraq/PKK

"General Buyukanit: There Will Be A Surprise."
Muharrem Sarikaya wrote in mainstream Sabah (5/9): "Turkish General
Staff (TGS) Chief General Yasar Buyukanit recently told reporters
there will be a major surprise announcement in a few days. It is
clear this surprise announcement is in connection with last week's
intense air operations against PKK targets in northern Iraq. It
appears that, in a few days, a key PKK official might be handed over
to Turkey or confirmed dead. As Buyukanit highlighted, Turkish
Armed Forces have the power in the region. This winter's land
operations played a large role in securing this power. After many
years, the PKK's communications are cut and their leaders are no
longer comfortable."


"Rapprochement With Iraqi Kurds Strengthens Domestic Peace"
Ferai Tinc wrote in mainstream Hurriyet (5/9): "The changes in
Turkey's policy toward northern Iraq will contribute to domestic
peace in Turkey. Turkey's decision to improve ties with the KRG and
all other elements in Iraq is a comforting message for the Kurds.
The troubles between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds began in the 1990s,
after the PKK established itself in northern Iraq. Thus, Turkey's
fight against the PKK is perceived by many as fight against the
Kurds, and this creates the impression that Turkey wants to destroy
the Kurds. This perception can hardly be changed without making
changes in the fight against the PKK and in policies regarding the
Kurdish issue. Improving ties with Iraq will have an important
effect on steps to solve problems regarding internal Kurdish issues.
Radical Islamic terror organizations are trying to take advantage
of the chaos in Iraq and are trying to establish themselves in
northern Iraq. The threat from Islamic terrorists is going to be
the new challenge for Iraq and Turkey in the years ahead. Efforts
to improve ties with northern Iraq will help Turkey strengthen ties

ANKARA 00000899 002 OF 002


with Iraq and will contribute to domestic peace in Turkey."


DTP Asks for Additional Time to Prepare its Defense
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak and mainstream Sabah and Milliyet
report the pro-Kurdish DTP made a second request for addition time
to prepare its defense in the closure case launched against it.
When the chief prosecutor submitted new evidence, including 33
folders of documents and 107 CDs and DVDs, the DTP asked the
Constitutional Court for time to review the evidence.

Barroso: "Secularism Cannot Be Imposed by Force"
Sabah, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Yeni Safak, Vatan and others:
All papers report European Commission President Barroso told a
meeting in Slovenia, "Turkey must be fully democratic and secular
before it can become a full EU member." In addition, he noted that
"secularism cannot be imposed by force."


TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

The parliament makes preparations to enforce smoking bans after May
19.

The Ankara prosecutor demands a five-year prison sentence for DTP
deputy Aysel Tugluk, who is accused of spreading PKK propaganda.

State Minister Kursat Tuzmen attended the Turkey-Iran economic
cooperation seminar in Tehran and met with Iranian President
Ahmedinejad.

A police officer in Istanbul was suspended from duty for using tear
gas against children celebrating soccer victory.


International News

Russia has ordered two military attachs at the U.S. Embassy in
Moscow to leave the country. This follows the expulsion of two
Russian diplomats from Washington.

The death toll in Myanmar reaches 100,000.

Hillary Clinton rejected speculation that she will drop out of the
U.S. Presidential race.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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