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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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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
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2008

In Today's Papers

Ambassador Wilson Comments on PJAK
Sabah, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak, Zaman: During the opening
ceremony of "Innovative and Entrepreneur Youth Project," journalists
asked U.S. Ambassador Ross Wilson about Seymour Hersh's latest story
in the "New Yorker." Wilson said, "The U.S. does not cooperate with
PJAK. We have no relations with PJAK. We see PJAK as a terrorist
organization." When asked about PM Erdogan's trip to Iraq,
Ambassador Wilson called the visit "a positive step for Turkish
-Iraqi relations."

French FM Kouchner Praises Turkish Military for its Role in
Democracy
All papers: France takes over the EU term presidency today.
Speaking to European Journalists, French Foreign Minister Bernard
Kouchner said that "the AKP closure case might have an impact on the
EU negotiations, however, this is Turkey's internal issue and Turkey
should find a solution to this issue itself. PM Erdogan is a wise
politician. I am sure he will find a solution to this issue. So
far, military played a very important role in Turkey. The Turkish
military played an important role in democracy and undertook a great
role in separating the government affairs from the mosque and
religion. This should not be forgotten." Kouchner added that
during France's presidency, two or three chapters will be opened up
with Turkey.

Turkey Prepares for Concluding Arguments in the AKP's Closure Case
Today, Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya will present his closing remarks
on the case to close the AKP. On Thursday, the AKP will present its
closing remarks. The Turkish press has exhausted this subject in
the past few months, but today's media wraps up their respective
expectations. Columnist Mehmet Barlas of mainstream Sabah notes,
"There is only one way out for Turkey. Every political actor and
every law must be in accordance with EU membership." In addition,
Barlas notes, "We can return to our target of joining the
civilization of modernity, democracy, and reality even if the party
is closed." Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak writes in "Today, the
Google Case Will Be Presented," Yalcinkaya presents a case "based on
evidence collected from Google and not from legitimate legal
sources." Leftist Taraf calls the closure of the AKP, "The Calamity
Awaiting Turkey." Columnist Ismet Berkan of liberal Radikal writes,
"The closure case has poisoned the atmosphere," as this issue has
even "pitted childhood friends against each other," and "divided the
beds of husbands and wives." Rusen Cakir of mainstream Vatan
writes, "If the AKP is closed, secularism could be weakened, the AKP
will not be dissolved, the party replacing the AKP could win more
than 50% of the vote, and Erdogan could emerge empowered as a result
of the closure case."

Breaking News - 49 Additional Ergenekon Detentions
In a story breaking mid-morning today, mainstream NTV reports that
at least 49 people, including leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
journalist Mustafa Balbay, two retired four star generals and the
Chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, were detained in
connection to the ongoing Ergenekon investigation. Tulin Daloglu
has previously described Ergenekon in the Washington Times as, "An
ultra-nationalist gang accused of inciting anti-democratic
activities and seeking to engineer a coup against Turkey's
Islamist-rooted government." Mainstream Hurriyet's website reports
the timing of these arrests is "interesting" in that the news broke
around the time the Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya began his concluding
oral arguments in the closure case against the AKP, the ruling party
accused of having Islamist roots.

Tuzmen: Lots of Things to be Done in Iraq
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Turkey's State Minister for
Economy, Kursad Tuzmen, told the press after wrapping up contacts in
Baghdad that Iraq could recover if it makes "good and fast" use of
its resources. "For the first time, a foreign delegation held a

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meeting outside the Green Zone in Baghdad, and Iraq received this
message," Tuzmen said. Tuzmen also said the Turkish delegation
proposed the establishment of a joint industrial zone in Ovakoy
along the Turkey-Iraq border.

Australia's Downer New UN Cyprus Envoy
Mainstream Hurriyet, leftist Taraf, Islamist Yeni Safak, and liberal
Radikal report the former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander
Downer is expected to be assigned the next UN special envoy for
Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot administration, however, said Monday that
the appointment of a UN envoy for Cyprus depends on the launch of
direct talks between the sides on the divided island, according to
papers.

Socialist International to Send Delegation to Turkey on CHP
Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report in the
first day of the Socialist International (SI) meetings in Athens, no
statement was issued against Turkey's main opposition party CHP.
Islamist-oriented Zaman claims SI put Turkey under "monitoring," and
would send a four-member delegation to inspect the "anti-democratic"
charges against the CHP. The paper also says CHP leader Deniz
Baykal, deputy chair of SI, was not nominated for the post again.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports at the meetings on Monday,
the northern Iraq Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) was given full
membership and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) consultative
membership. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was assigned deputy
chair of SI, according to papers.


Cartoon in July 1st's leftist Taraf.
"The Socialist International" placard is broken into two. The "CHP"
tag is pinned on the piece reading "National."

Cartoon in July 1st's mainstream Hurriyet:
CHP leader Deniz Baykal, at the "Ayas Mulberry Festival," says:
"Let's call the mulberry a symbol of socialism!" Background:
Baykal refused to join Socialist International's summit in Athens
this week and instead attended a mulberry festival in Ayas. Press
speculate Baykal did not attend the SI meeting because the CHP's
stance on the closure case has angered a number of SI members in
Europe.

Editorial Commentary on U.S/Iraq; North Korea/Iran

"Bush's Incompetence"
Fikret Ertan wrote in Islamist leaning Zaman (7/1): "The Bush
administration made very serious and critical mistakes in the
aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Paul Bremer was appointed
by President Bush as the second 'occupational governor' after
General Garner. Bremer can easily symbolize America's fiasco in
Iraq. General Tommy Franks, who served in Iraq alongside Bremer, is
now testifying in an ongoing military investigation and is facing
serious criticism. In addition, an important study about the Iraq
war has been released by the Institute for Military and Combat
Studies, an organization belonging to the American army. The study
detailed the incompetence of the Americans during the 2003 invasion
and the ensuing occupation of Iraq. Interestingly enough, the key
figures of this period, such as Paul Bremer, General Franks and
former CIA Director George Tenet were all awarded the 'Medal of
Liberty' by the Bush administration due to their 'successes' in
Iraq. Normally, America does not reward incompetence. However, the
Bush administration managed to do such a thing."

"Nuclear Ambition"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in conservative Turkiye (7/1): "The people of
North Korea are among the world's poorest and they continue to
suffer from hunger. The contrast between North Korea and South
Korea is black-and-white, though they are neighbors of the same race
and speak the same language. While North Korea is ruled by 'liberal
communism' even though these two terms are an oxymoron, South Korea

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shines as one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Despite its
extreme poverty, North Korea developed nuclear weapons by enriching
plutonium. Recently, the North Korean government announced its
intention to abandon its nuclear efforts and destroyed a nuclear
facility. In exchange, North Korea hopes to be taken off the United
States' list of rogue countries. Meanwhile, Iran is one of the
world greatest civilizations. Currently, its nuclear ambition is
not serving to its own benefit. If Iran makes a similar move and
abandons its nuclear ambition, and if the U.S. takes Iran off its
blacklist, not only Tehran but all of its neighbors, particularly
Turkey, will take a deep relaxing breath."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn spoke to the press
after meeting his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan in Ankara.
Asselborn said, "If the Constitutional Court rules to ban the AKP,
it will not end Turkey's EU accession process."

- Prime Minister Erdogan met with Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
director Abraham Foxman on Monday. The 1-hour meeting was closed to
press.

- The Turkish Statistics Institute announced Turkey's economy grew
by 6.6 percent in the first three months of this year.

International News

- Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim ended his one-day refuge
at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry announced efforts to find a solution to
the situation were successful, thanks to the close cooperation
between Turkey and Malaysia.

- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay an official visit
to Turkey July 2 to meet his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan,
President Abdullah Gul and PM Erdogan.

- France assumes the rotating EU Presidency as of Tuesday.

WILSON

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