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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 001840

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
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2008

In Today's Papers

Dangerous Escalation in the Southeast
Milliyet, Hurriyet, Vatan, Aksam, Turkiye, Zaman and others:
Mainstream Milliyet's headline reads "Dangerous Escalation" and
reports that pro-Ocalan protests escalated the tension in the
southeast and summarized the weekend protests. Main opposition
party CHP leader Deniz Baykal described the Diyarbakir incidents as
an uprising and called on the government to take appropriate steps
in response. Conservative-nationalist Turkiye notes MHP leader
Bahceli said "Turkey is going through a period full of malicious
traps with an escalation in ethnic provocations in the country..
Turkey is in a junction between the fight against terrorism and
ethnic separatism" Mainstream Vatan covers DTP's party group
meeting in Diyarbakir extensively and characterizes DTP leader Ahmet
Turk's speech as irresponsible provocation. All papers report
Turk's claim that "in the 1980s the Kurds were the target of
cultural and social genocide and this paved the way for the rise of
the PKK." Tabloid Aksam and Islamist-oriented Zaman speculate that
the DTP is fueling tensions to preserve its influence in the
Southeast.

Editorial Commentaries on the protests in the Southeast
Mehmet Kamis commented in Islamist-oriented Zaman: ''The Prime
Minister's trip to Diyarbakir seems to have really angered DTP
circles and this anger has increased tension in the city. The PKK
has been carrying the tension all over Turkey to city centres in the
southeast and the timing of this is significant because it coincides
with the Ergenekon trial. The PKK seems to be uncomfortable with the
dismantling of a structure which is the cause for the PKK itself to
exist.''
Mehmet Tezkan wrote in mainstream Vatan: "The picture we saw in
Diyarbakir during the PM's visit there was gruesome. When the AKP
came to power in 2002, terror was eliminated and the PKK was
dispursed to the mountains. Life in Diyarbakir went back to normal.
The perfect atmosphere was created for the politicians to solve the
Kurdish issue. It was the right time to take action, but
unfortunately, nothing was done. Six years after that we see the
same picture again in Diyarbakir. The shopkeepers pulled their
shutters down again, children stone the police. We see that just
like ten years ago, the PKK are in the cities and towns again. And
we are using a wrong road map again to eliminate terrorism."
Hasan Cemal wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "If in a country the
murderers are protected, the coup attempters are protected, those
responsible for mass killings are not tried, and forming gangs is
allowed, all in the name of "protecting the state", that means that
there is no democracy in that country. It means the country is not
one with the rule of law, there are no human rights, no freedoms in
that country. Turkey is this kind of country. Mr. Prime Minister,
why don't you push the button to take the necessary steps, can't you
see that the country is going backwards in the name of protecting
the state?"

NSC: "Terror will be solved within the Framework of Democracy"
Hurriyet, Radikal, Sabah, Milliyet, Vatan, Cumhuriyet and others:
In a meeting yesterday, the NSC decided to support the proposal of
the "High Board for Combating Terror" for the establishment of a new
institutional structure to strengthen coordination in the fight
against terrorism. Liberal Radikal reports that the NSC gave the
message that terrorism threat would be solved on the basis of
democracy.
The Constitutional Court: "Headscarf Reforms Violate the Principle
of Secularism"
All papers: The Constitutional Court announced its detailed ruling
to reverse the law allowing headscarves on university campuses which
had been adopted by the parliament last year.. The decision said
the new law's amendments of articles 10 and 42 of the Constitution
were against the principle of secularism.

US Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried's Visit to Ankara

ANKARA 00001840 002 OF 002


Zaman, Sabah and Radikal: Mainstream Sabah and Islamist-oriented
Zaman reports that US State Department Assistant Secretary for
European and Eurasian Affairs Dan Fried met with Foreign Ministry
Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan yesterday. Zaman quotes anonymous
Turkish diplomatic sources who said that Fried had paid a courtesy
visit to Ankara on his way back from a trip to the Caucasus.
Following MFA meeting, A/S Fried met with a small group of
journalists and told them that "intelligence sharing with Turkey
against the PKK will continue. The PKK realizes that northern Iraq
is not a safe place for it any longer." Sabah claims that
Undersecretary Apakan warned Fried to make sure that any new
trilateral mechanism that will also include the Kurdish Regional
Administration should not damage the tripartite mechanism that
already exists among the Turkish and the US deputy chiefs of General
Staff and General Odierno in Iraq.
Editorial Commentary on Fried Visit
Murat Yetkin wrote in liberal-intellectual Radikal: ''U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State Dan Fried told a group of journalists yesterday
in Ankara, 'I understand that the PKK attacks may be demoralizing.
Yet, the Turkish military is fighting in a very tough geography. The
enemy is coming up with new measures against our cooperation. But we
are also coming up with new measures.' The fact that Turkey and the
U.S. discussed what other things apart from intelligence sharing can
be done against the PKK was confirmed by a high-level official that
Radikal spoke to after the meeting. Fried had a three-hour
comprehensive meeting with Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan before his
meeting with us (the journalists) and Iraq and the PKK were not the
only subjects discussed. They also discussed the Caucasus, energy
and Afghanistan.''
TV News:
CNN Turk

Domestic News

- 56 people, including 23 children, have been taken into custody in
connection with protests in Diyarbakir

- Istanbul police directorate rejects media reports for torture in a
police station

- Referans daily has to pay compensation of 4,000 TL to AKP
vice-chairman Mehmet Firat for insulting him

- Budget debates start in the parliament


International News

- Iraqi Government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said his cabinet agreed to
make changes in a proposed security pact with the United States
- India and Pakistan begin trading between their respective parts
of Kashmir for the first time in six decades
- Turkish Embassy in Helsinki becomes target of arson attackWILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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