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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001327

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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
THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2008

In Today's Papers

Simultaneous Operations in Five Provinces
All papers give extensive front page coverage to the operations
conducted by the Konya anti-terrorism police department in Konya,
Istanbul, Mersin, Kocaeli and Elazig, although coverage is mixed and
unclear as to whether these operations are directly related to the
Ergenekon investigation. Mainstream Sabah headline reads "Green
Wave in Ergenekon" and reports that 26 people were detained during
the operations in five cities. The director of "National Solution"
magazine Ahmet Akgul and "National TV" Mediterranean representative
Yusuf Buldu were among the detainees, adds the paper. Mainstream
Hurriyet reports that the detainees were charged for attempting to
overthrow the government by force, being members of and illegal
organization and inciting revolt. Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet
quotes Konya Police Chief Tuzcu saying that "the suspects have a
common agenda. We are investigating any possible connection between
the suspects and Ergenekon."

Turkish History Institution Head Halacoglu Removed from his Post
Sabah, Milliyet, Vatan, Hurriyet, Zaman, Cumhuriyet and others:
Today's papers report that the head of Turkish History Institution,
Yusuf Halacoglu, was removed from his position after 15 years. The
decree of his removal was published in the Official Gazette
yesterday. Mainstream Vatan reminds readers of Halacoglu's
controversial remarks on the Armenian issue and says that the
decision to remove Halacoglu from his post might be an indication of
the new efforts of the government to improve relations with Yerevan.
Hurriyet reports that the government will appoint historian Prof.
Ali Birinci to Halacoglu's position. Birinci, reportedly, supports
dialogue between Turkey and Armenia.

Meanwhile, Islamist-oriented Zaman reports that Turkey and Armenia
continue to exchange good will messages. Earlier, Armenian
President Sargsyan invited President Gul to Armenia for a soccer
match between Turkey and Armenia on September 6. Yesterday,
President Gul toured the ruins of the old Armenian city of Ani on
the Turkish-Armenian border and gave the message to Armenia that 'it
could join in regional projects like Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway
project, by recognizing the territorial integrity of the regional
countries.' Hurriyet reports that FM Babacan hosted a reception in
New York on Tuesday in order to get support for Turkey's
participation in UN Security Council. Armenian permanent UN
representative Martirosyan was among 118 diplomats who attended the
reception.

Parliament Decides that There was Negligence in Dink Murder
Yeni Safak, Zaman, Turkiye, Cumhuriyet, Hurriyet, Sabah, Radikal:
All papers report that the parliamentary sub-committee on human
rights released its report on the assassination of Hrant Dink. In
its 180 page report, the commission said that both the police and
the gendarme were negligent in the assassination of Dink.

Anti-Terror High Council decision on US Consulate Attack
Sabah reports that at the monthly Anti-Terror High Council, headed
by Deputy PM Cemil Cicek, the members discussed the attack on the US
Consulate in Istanbul. They concluded that Al-Qaeda, after
receiving a heavy blow during operations in Gaziantep several months
ago, retaliated by carrying out the attack on the Consulate. The
attackers had ties with Afghanistan and their main target in the
Consulate attack was Turkey, not the US.

Meanwhile, Milliyet reports on the testimonies of the attackers who
were detained saying that the attack was carried out by an "Irfan
Group" who had ties abroad. Reportedly, the Irfan group had ties to
the "Irfan Foundation" which operates in a small mosque in
Altinsehir, Istanbul.


EDITORIAL OPINION: Serbia/Karadzic

ANKARA 00001327 002 OF 003

"Stage Play"
Oktay Eksi wrote in mainstream Hurriyet (7/24): "The capture of
Karadzic is nothing more than a stage play. This is not about
capturing a war criminal, but it is about a hypocrisy which decided
not to protect a criminal figure any longer. Considering the
capture of Karadzic a success is either an insult to the human
intellect or admitting Serbia does not have any quality to qualify
itself as a state. This man was not hiding at all; he was living in
the open. The timing of this game is obvious: Karadzic's capture
coincided with the EU meeting to discuss Serbian accession to the
Union. It will not be surprising also to see now the capture of
Mladic. Serbia is just one example of hypocrisy; the Europeans also
are hypocritical in this matter. 200,000 people were subject to
genocide right before the eyes of Europeans, yet they refrained from
accusing Serbia of genocide. Instead the whole thing is
deliberately presented as a crime of two figures: Karadzic and
Mladic."

"Karadzic's Capture and Milosevic"
Sahin Alpay wrote in Islamist-leaning Zaman (7/24): "There were
three main figures responsible for the horrifying Serbian
nationalism; Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic. Following Karadzic's
capture, we should expect the capture of Mladic as well. Once this
is done, the most significant obstacle in Serbia's efforts to attain
EU membership will likely be eliminated. The capture of Karadzic
has three important aspects. One of them is the fact that a brutal
figure will be held accountable for his crimes against humanity.
Secondly, the capture incident shows the strong allure of European
Union membership. The EU factor moved the Serbian government to
bring Karadzic to justice even though he is considered by some as a
national hero. The third important point is the Milosevic factor in
the capture. The operation happened with the cooperation of the
Interior Ministry which is in the Socialist Party portfolio. Since
Milosevic founded the Socialist Party, it would not be wrong to
assume that Milosevic staffers helped in the capture of Karadzic."


Iraqi Election Law Vetoed. News outlets report in a straightforward
fashion that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani rejected a provincial
election law a day after it was adopted by the Iraqi parliament.
Papers emphasize the part that Kurdish opinion played in this
decision. Mainstream Sabah writes "Kerkuk Boycott from Kurds,"
saying "the law was boycotted by Kurdish lawmakers."
Islamist-oriented Zaman writes "Kurds are Reactive, Tabani will Veto
the New Election Law." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet notes "the
law, which the U.S. supports, would allow voting in the country's 18
provinces and the elections are scheduled for latest December 31."
Liberal Radikal carries the story under "Iraqi Local Elections Law
Stuck at Kurds" headline.

TV Highlights
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- Three people killed and two others injured in a foam party in the
southern resort of Antalya

- Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu accused Izmir Mayor Aziz
Kocaoglu for hiding from the public the facts about arsenic content
in city water

- President Gul will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project together with the presidents of
Azerbaijan and Georgia

- Some private hospitals annul their agreements with the Social
Security Institution as they fail to reach agreement on the price of
medical services

ANKARA 00001327 003 OF 003

- Turkish Bread producers warn that bread prices will increase if
the government fails to prevent increase in wheat by November

International News

- A climate change activist attempts to superglue himself to British
PM Gordon Brown
- The European Commission will propose forcing US diplomats to apply
for visas to travel to the European Union from January 1, 2009,
unless Washington grants all EU citizens with visa-free entry
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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