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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001781

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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, OCTOBER 14, 2008

In Today's Papers

European Efforts Rally the Markets
Media outlets report that European efforts to stabilize global
markets over the weekend have paid off. Mainstream Milliyet reports
the U.S. Dow Jones Market "broke a 75-year record" in gains that
followed, "the decisions announced in Paris by EU leaders to save
the markets." Mainstream Vatan reports on their front page,
"England, Germany, France and Spain announced a 1.3 trillion-dollar
package to ease the tensions in the banking sector, which led the
markets to rise by more than ten percent." Leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet reports "Europe funds the markets and the markets rise."
Mainstream Sabah carries the headline, "The First 'Oh!' in the
Markets," that "Global Measures Stabilized World Markets." Liberal
Radikal notes in "The West Guarantees the Financial System with $5.1
Billion," that, "For the first time in a while, yesterday the
markets created smiles instead of pessimism." Islamist-oriented
Zaman reports, "Europe Announces a Rescue Package, and World Markets
Sigh with Relief." Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports, "Europe
Acts Quickly and Creates a Ceiling in the Markets," as "EU countries
create a tough and big packet of measures against the crisis," which
"rescues markets in the U.S. and the entire world."

In a related article, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports in its
banner headline, "The Catastrophe for the Poor," and notes "The poor
will be most affected by the financial crisis as the IMF and World
Bank indicate the poor countries will feel the lasting damage of the
financial crisis," as "the poor will pay."

Papers report that on Monday, Turkish markets began showing signs of
recovery. The Turkish Lira rallied, interest rates fell below 20
percent, and the Istanbul stock index rose by 1.6 percent.
Mainstream Sabah reports, "Turkey wants to attract Turks' savings
from foreign banks back to Turkish banks." However, mainstream
Milliyet reports savings account holders who invest in Turkey will
not be asked explain the source of their assets. Milliyet warns
such an implementation might provide an opportunity for money
launderers. Meanwhile, the State Minister for the Economy, Mehmet
Simsek, was in Washington for meetings with the IMF and World Bank.
He said an IMF delegation will come to Turkey in order to conduct
negotiations for a standby agreement. Economic-political daily
Referans quotes IMF and World Bank officials as saying Turkey's
economy is strong, but that the global crisis should not be
underestimated.

Editorial Commentary on Global Financial Crisis

Mehmet Barlas commented in mainstream Sabah: "Unfortunately, both
American and European officials responded to the current global
economic crisis very slowly. Only now are they taking radical and
brave steps to address the crisis. Had these steps been taken
earlier, the world economy would not have suffered so seriously. In
Turkey, the AKP government should determine their priorities and
take actions accordingly. It was very wrong of PM Erdogan to
criticize TUSIAD's warnings regarding the crisis. Everyone knows
that global crises first affect financial systems and the markets.
Therefore, TUSIAD's warnings were not meant to create a crisis, but
to prevent a crisis by calling for preventive measures."

Cartoon from today's mainstream Sabah. In "The Crisis Affects All
Countries," Prime Minister Erdogan is clinging to a raft entitled
"2001 Experience." Prime Minister Erdogan claims that the financial
reforms undertaken by Turkey after its economic crisis in 2001 will
prevent Turkey from feeling the effects of the current global
economic crisis.

First Formal Contact with KRG President Massoud Barzani in Five
Years

ANKARA 00001781 002 OF 003


Sabah, Milliyet, Zaman, Yeni Safak, Cumhuriyet, Radikal and others:
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that Ankara is preparing for
its first formal contact with the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government
leader Massoud Barzani since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. A Turkish
delegation headed by special Iraqi envoy Murat Ozcelik will go to
Baghdad today in order to hold talks with Barzani.
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports that the Turkish delegation
will request logistical support from Barzani in the fight against
terrorism. Islamist-oriented Zaman notes that the Turkish
delegation will convey Turkish demands regarding the fight against
PKK to Barzani and will urge the KRG not to shelter the PKK.

Turkish Air Strikes Target Hakurk and Zap
Monday papers cite an announcement on the Turkish General Staff
website indicating Turkish jets and artillery bombed 31 PKK targets
in the Hakurk area of northern Iraq after midnight on Friday October
10th. On October 12th, PKK targets in the Zap region were also hit.
TGS said that the terrorist groups hit in the Zap area were
responsible for the Aktutun attack and possibly had high level PKK
leaders among them.

Taraf: TGS Possessed Intelligence Indicating Plans for an Attack on
Aktutun
Leftist Taraf claims today on its front page that just like in an
earlier terrorist attack on Daglica gendarme outpost, the Turkish
General Staff (TGS) had intelligence reports from the Internal
Security Operations and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles indicating PKK
plans to attack the Aktutun military outpost one month before the
raid occurred. An unmanned vehicle transmitted footage on October 3
to the TGS Electronic Systems Command to the deputy TGS chief at
09:35 a.m., three and a half hours before the attack was launched on
Aktutun. According to Taraf, "the TGS, however, did nothing more
than merely watch the attack from a monitor during the raid." Taraf
also claims an intelligence report submitted a day before the attack
even gives the name of the PKK commander in charge of the raid.

Editorial Commentary on Turkey-Northern Iraq/PKK

Fikret Bila wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "During the
counterterrorism meetings that followed the Aktutun attack, Ankara
decided to meet with the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)
President Massoud Barzani. As a matter of fact, Ankara has been in
touch with Barzani on different levels and at different times. In
fact, Barzani's stance (regarding relations with Turkey) has
improved after each contact. This time, Ankara will pressure
Barzani to cut logistical support to the PKK. At the same time,
Ankara will remind him of his responsibilities to fight terrorism
based on international laws. Moreover, Turkey will urge Barzani to
participate actively in Turkey's fight against terrorism."

Ihsan Dagi observed in Islamist-oriented Zaman: "Following years of
struggle, the Iraqi Kurds are represented at the presidential level
in Iraq and have a federal Kurdish administration in the north.
However, the PKK is the largest impediment to these gains for the
Iraqi Kurds. The real aim of the PKK's strategy is not to damage
Turkey, but the Iraqi Kurds' recent political and economic gains."


Husnu Mahalli wrote in tabloid Aksam: "The process launched by Iraqi
President Talabani's Ankara visit must be continued. Turkish
fighter jets have pounded northern Iraq 45 times since December 17.
If Ankara had met Talabani and Barzani 45 times in this period,
there wouldn't be a PKK problem today, and Turkey could have gained
a lot at home and abroad without losing anything. Today's meeting
in Baghdad between a Turkish delegation and Talabani and Massoud
Barzani will prove this fact."

Military Exercises Cancelled in Cyprus
Sabah, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and others: Today's papers report that
Greek Cypriot Leader Christofias announced on Monday his decision to

ANKARA 00001781 003 OF 003


cancel "Nikiforos" military exercises while the Turkish Cypriot side
announced late Monday its decision to cancel the military exercise
"Toros" on the island.

Editorial Commentary on Afghanistan

Fikret Ertan in Islamist-oriented Zaman: "The Afghan government, the
U.S. and NATO have accepted a plan to increase the number of troops
in the Afghanistan army over the next five years. The plan will be
costly, so the U.S. has requested $20 billion from its allies. It's
difficult to tell when Afghanistan's army will reach 150,000, but
the only way to eliminate domestic threats without the intervention
of foreign forces is through the formulation of a national army
which represents the ethnic diversity of Afghanistan."

TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- Five people were arrested for their alleged involvement in last
week's attack on a police bus in the southeastern city of
Diyarbakir. Five people including four policemen were killed and 18
were injured in the attack on October 8.

- The Bingol governor says 30,000 tons of coal will be distributed
to 30,076 poor families in the province.

International News

- Turkish students in Western Thrace have launched a two-day school
boycott to protest problems with minority education in the region.


- The EU temporarily lifts a travel ban on Belorussian government
officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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