Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO7747
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1348/01 2101453
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281453Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6967
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 9046
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 4519
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 3102
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6749
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6580
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3161
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 001348

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
MONDAY, JULY 28, 2008

In Today's Papers

Bomb Attack in Istanbul Kills 16
All news outlets report 16 people were killed and more than 150
others were injured in two bomb blasts in Istanbul's Gungoren
neighborhood Sunday night. Mainstream Milliyet writes in "Terror
Horror in Istanbul," that "two bombs exploded one after the other in
the space of 10 minutes. The first one was a percussion bomb that
attracted onlookers and then the second deadly one exploded."
Mainstream papers Hurriyet, Vatan and Aksam suggest yesterday's
attack could be retaliation for the latest Turkish air attacks on
the PKK targets in northern Iraq. Mainstream Sabah says the
RDX-type bomb used in the attack was similar to the bombs used in
earlier PKK attacks in Ankara and Diyarbakir. Mainstream Sabah
writes "We Know the Murderers," noting "terror targeted civilians in
a critical period, in which the Ergenekon indictment was accepted by
the court on Friday, and today the Constitutional Court will hold
its first hearing in the suit for banning the AKP.

Constitutional Court to Hear AKP Closure Case July 28
All papers report the Constitutional Court begins deliberations in
the closure case against Turkey's ruling AKP today. Under the
Constitution, at least seven out of 11 justices must vote in favor
of closure in order to close the party. The Constitutional Court
can also order a cessation of Treasury financing to the party
instead of ordering its dissolution. In his indictment, the chief
prosecutor also called for the banning from party politics of 71
politicians, including President Abdullah Gul, former Parliament
Speaker Bulent Arinc, and Prime Minister Erdogan. Several
commentators expect the court decision to come after August 4,
following the conclusion of the High Military Board (YAS) meetings
which appoint new commanders, including the Chief of the Turkish
General Staff.

'Ergenekon' Indictment Unveiled, First Hearing October 20
All news outlets reported over the weekend and today that on Friday
a court in Istanbul agreed to take up the "Ergenekon" indictment,
and set the first hearing for October 20 at a prison complex in
Silivri town in Istanbul. In the indictment, prosecutors accuse 86
defendants of forming an illegal organization which is accused of
planning bloody, provocative acts that would pave the way for a
military takeover to oust the AKP government. The indictment
charges the suspects, including retired military officers,
anti-government journalists and intellectuals, with "forming of and
membership to a terrorist organization." Forty-seven suspects were
detained within the scope of the "Ergenekon". Among the suspects
are retired generals including Veli Kucuk, Mehmet Fikri Karadag,
Fikret Emek and Muzaffer Tekin, politicians, journalists and
writers. An additional indictment is to be prepared for those
detained on July 1, including retired Generals Sener Eruygur and
Hursit Tolon, and Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) head Sinan Aygun.


Weekend papers say the indictment underlines the Ergenekon network
was not linked to the military General Staff (TGS) or the National
Intelligence Organization (MIT,) but that it had access to top
secret military and MIT documents. The indictment claims Ergenekon
had ties with terror organizations such as the PKK, DHKP-C and
Hizbullah. The suspects had plans to assassinate Prime Minister
Erdogan, Chief of the TGS Yasar Buyukanit, novelist Orhan Pamuk,
journalist Fehmi Koru, Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan, Greek
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Jewish businessman Ishak
Alaton, as well as Kurdish politicians Ahmet Turk, Osman Baydemir
and Sebahat Tuncel. Ergenekon is also blamed for a number of
sensational assassinations including the killings of Armenian
Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul, Roman Catholic Priest
Andrea Santoro in Trabzon, and three Christian Bible publishers in
Malatya. The network was also planning attacks on the NATO
facilities in Izmir and on an enclosed passenger overpass near the
TGS Headquarters in Ankara, according to the indictment.

ANKARA 00001348 002 OF 003

Monday's Cumhuriyet says the accusations were "ridiculous and
ungrounded," and comments the case might take long years and was
unlikely to be finalized. Many questioned in Turkey whether the
operation was being used to suppress the opponents of the ruling.

Editorial Commentary on Ergenekon Case

Turker Alkan wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal (7/27): "The
accusations in the Ergenekon indictment deserve to be taken
seriously. The indictment includes many high ranking names from
state posts who are accused of creating anarchy and chaos to pave
the way for a military coup. We cannot afford to characterize the
whole thing as absurd because Turkey has lived through just such
chaotic situations in the past. Even if a small portion of this
indictment is true, it still makes this a crucial case. "

Cengiz Candar wrote in business daily Referans (7/28): "It is not
possible to predict the outcome of the Ergenekon case. However, one
thing is very clear: This case is the most serious legal
investigation of our recent history and it is an important
cornerstone for Turkey's struggle towards democratization."

Mehmet Y. Yilmaz wrote in mainstream Hurriyet (7/28): "At least now
that the court has decided to take on the Ergenekon indictment, we
no longer have to worry about this odd situation where the Prime
Minister claims to be a prosecutor and the opposition leader claims
to be a lawyer. Now, the court will have its say and we should
leave this process to run its natural. A fair and fast court
process will be ideal since we all know the longer a case is
prolonged, the less able we are to find the truth. Most
importantly, the Ergenekon case should no longer be used as a
polemical tool between the government and the opposition."

Fehmi Koru wrote in Islamist leaning Yeni Safak (7/27): "With start
of the Ergenekon case, some light is shed on a dark picture of
Turkey's past. In the last 50 years of the Republic, we have had a
long list of unresolved assassinations and other crimes. Those who
have no desire to settle the accounts of the past 50 years will not
be happy with this indictment. In fact the Ergenekon indictment is
about only one illegal organizational structure, but maybe it will
shed some light on other crimes and illegal acts as the court case
progresses."

Bartholomew I, Alexi II Conduct Mass in Kiev
Hurriyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Moscow Patriarch Alexi II
together conducted a mass in Kiev over the weekend, marking the
1020th anniversary of the Slavic world's conversion to Christianity.
Mainstream Milliyet writes "Opponent Patriarchs Conducted a Mass,"
saying "the Moscow Patriarch and the Fener Greek Patriarch conducted
the mass together following the crisis." Islamist-oriented Yeni
Safak writes in "Patriarchs Joined," that "the visit of the Fener
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine melted the ice
between him and the Moscow Patriarch," adding "earlier there had
been a crisis because Russia wanted the Moscow Patriarch to preside
over the events while the Ukrainian President invited Patriarch
Bartholomew to do the job."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- The Turkish General Staff says in a statement posted on its
webpage 12 PKK targets were destroyed in air operations on Mount
Kandil in northern Iraq.

- Three civilians in a pickup van were killed when a landmine
believed to have been planted by the PKK terrorists went off in

ANKARA 00001348 003 OF 003


Semdinli in southeast Turkey.

- Turkey's High Military Board (YAS) is to hold its annual meeting
from August 1-4.

International News

- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says Iran and the major
powers should draw a new model for nuclear talks.

- Nearly three-quarters of Irish voters are against holding a second
referendum on the EU's key reform treaty, according to an opinion
poll.

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: