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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
MONDAY, JULY 21, 2008

In Today's Papers

PM Erdogan in Cyprus for the 34th Anniversary of the Peace
Operation. All media outlets give extensive coverage to PM
Erdogan's attendance at the ceremonies in the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC) marking the anniversary of the "peace
movement." Mainstream Milliyet quotes PM Erdogan saying "No one
should expect Turkish Cypriots to give up their own administration,
or their demand for equal partnership and equal status. Greek
Cypriots should not expect Turkish Cypriot people to live under
minority status. A comprehensive solution can only be possible in a
new partnership where Turkish Cypriot people participate as a
founding and equal partner. This new partnership should be
established on the indispensable concepts of bi-zonal, political
equality and the effective guarantorship of Turkey." Mainstream
Hurriyet writes "noting that Turkish Cypriot people always favored
peace, PM Erdogan said that Turkey regards the meeting of two
Cypriot leaders as a positive step. Meanwhile, liberal Radikal
reports Greek FM Bakoyanni in a message on the anniversary said that
Cyprus has been under Turkish occupation for the last 34 years and
this situation has to change. The Greek Cypriot Administration
condemned the ceremonies and the PM's participation in them and,
reportedly, and filed a complaint case against the ceremonies to the
UN and the EU, adds Radikal.

Editorial Opinion on Turkish Political Debates:

"Foreigners' View on AKP Closure Case"
Semih Idiz wrote in mainstream Milliyet (7/21): "Foreign diplomats
in Ankara are watching the developments in the AKP closure case very
seriously. The possibility of not closing the party, based on
possibly negative economic and political consequences, is certainly
one of the options as stated by the former US Ambassador to Turkey,
Mark Parris. However, this does not represent the majority view.
There are several reasons for those who believe that the court
decide to close the AKP. Supporters of this view consider this case
political and regard it as the last chance for extreme secularists.
Otherwise, the AKP will become even stronger and pose a defeat for
secularists, they argue. In sum, a majority of foreign diplomats
expect to see the party closed for political reasons. Others, who
are in minority, argue that the Court will take the potential
chaotic consequences into consideration and not close the. Soon
enough, we will see which view happens to be the right guess. Until
then, Turkey will remain on everyone's agenda because what happens
here has negative and positive impacts outside - whether we like it
or not."


DTP General Convention
Sabah, Milliyet, Radikal, Hurriyet, Vatan, Cumhuriyet and others:
Mainly Kurdish Party DTP held its second general convention in
Ankara yesterday. All papers note that there was a Turkish flag at
the convention, but the Turkish National Anthem was not played.
Attendants chanted pro-Ocalan slogans and Ocalan portraits were
everywhere. Ahmet Turk was elected as the party chairman and Emine
Ayna as the co-chairman. Both of them repeatedly referred to jailed
terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan as "Respectful Ocalan." Emine Ayna
urged Kurds not to serve as "village guards" and said a general
amnesty should be declared. Ahmet Turk urged the government to
establish a dialog with Kurds and said "you may close down our
party, but you cannot silence the Kurds." Papers note that although
the general messages at the convention were peace and a solution to
the Kurdish problem, the address pointed to for a solution was
"Imrali", the name of the island where Abdullah Ocalan is
imprisoned.

Iran's Chief Nuclear Negotiator Comes to Turkey
Mainstream Milliyet reports that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator,
Said Jalili, came to Istanbul yesterday and met with Foreign
Minister Ali Babacan. Jalili was on his way back to Tehran after

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attending talks with envoys from the US and five other countries in
Geneva on Saturday. At a joint press conference, Babacan said "we
believe every sovereign country has the right to use nuclear energy
for peaceful aims and to have that technology. However, Turkey is
against nuclear weapons in its region." Jalili, on his part, said
that they reviewed the relations between the two countries as well
as the recent regional and international developments.

Editorial Opinion on Iran:

"End of US Hegemony?"
Kamuran Ozbir wrote in nationalist Ortadogu (7/21): "The Tehran
regime, thanks to the country's energy resources, has not only
strengthened its hand internationally, but also managed to limit the
US's international influence. The United States has been trying to
form a unified international bloc to isolate Iran and thwart Iran's
nuclear ambition, yet things have not progressed as Washington had
hoped. Staunch American allies are not very enthusiastic to
cooperate unconditionally with the US as they once were. On the
other hand, the defiance of US enemies is getting stronger. In
response to Washington's efforts to isolate Tehran, many countries,
taking into consideration their oil and natural gas needs, have
acted evasively or openly stood against US efforts. All of this
does not necessarily rule out a military option for Washington. In
the end, the Bush administration may decide to hand over the Iran
crisis to the next administration. If a new American administration
then goes forward with a military option, we must think about a
potential regional crisis and economic fluctuations."


PKK Releases Three German Mountaineers
Sabah, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak, Turkiye and others: Three
German mountaineers, abducted by the PKK 13 days ago while they were
climbing Agri Mountain, were released yesterday. Mainstream Sabah
quotes the Agri Governor saying "the terrorists had no choice but to
release the mountaineers since they could see such tight security
measures had been taken." Papers noted that the three German
mountaineers were delivered to German Embassy officials who had
traveled to Agri from Ankara.

First Kosovo Embassy to be Opened in Turkey
Hurriyet reports that after declaring its independence on February
17th , 2008, Kosovo decided to open its first Embassy in Turkey.

President Gul to Pay a Visit to Baghdad
Sabah reports that President Gul is planning to pay a visit to
Baghdad in the autumn. The visit is expected to take place in
September or October. The paper notes that two important visits are
expected before Gul's trip: first, Turkey's special envoy to Iraq,
Murat Ozcelik, will visit KDP leader Massoud Barzani and secondly,
KRG president Nechirvan Barzani will pay a visit to Ankara. With
his visit to Iraq, President Gul wants to give a message to the
world that the situation in Iraq is normalizing.

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

490 people were hospitalized in Manisa with diarrhea complaints

Trabzon governor gives authorization to investigate former gendarme
commander Colonel Ali Oz and intelligence chief Captain Metin Yildiz
for negligence in connection with the Dink murder


International News

US Presidential candidate Barack Obama visits Afghanistan to assess
international efforts against Al-Qaeda

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Greek Cypriot newspapers give extensive coverage to the visit of
Turkish PM Erdogan to Northern Cyprus

Cologne police officials reject media reports that there was
concrete evidence of PKK plans to conduct a terrorist attack on
their city.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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