Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO1556
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #3576/01 1671352
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161352Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6646
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7281
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0812
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 0880
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5341
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5039
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1660
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFISS/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003576

SIPDIS

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
FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2006

In Today's Papers

Erdogan Remarks on Turkey's Next President
All papers report that Prime Minister Erdogan told the press on his
way home from Macedonia yesterday that Turkey's new President should
"represent the whole country and cover all groups in Turkey, refrain
from causing tensions, and lay the groundwork for unity." He
shrugged off recent calls from the opposition and other groups that
the new President be chosen in general elections. Erdogan stressed
the ruling AK Party would name its candidate when the time comes,
but added they were ready to compromise on the matter both inside
and outside of the Parliament. Mainstream papers see his statement
as indicative of Erdogan's longing for the Presidency, saying that
the PM had described himself as the candidate for the post.
Cumhuriyet and Milliyet speculate that Erdogan has implied he will
not compromise with other parties in naming a candidate. The
opposition CHP responded to Erdogan by saying that the new President
will represent only the AKP, and not all of Turkey.

Heads of State, Government Invited to BTC Inauguration
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Zaman and others report the
ruling AK Party has invited 15 Presidents including Bush and Putin
and 30 Prime Ministers to the inauguration ceremony of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline on July 13.

1.5 Million Students to Take University Entrance Exam
All papers report the nationwide university entrance exams for
Turkish high school graduates to be held on Sunday. Some candidates
will buy wigs to hide their headscarves, which are not permitted in
the exam hall, and others are going to saints' tombs to pray for
success in the exam. The head of the center that organizes the exam
said about 1.5 million students will take the three-hour test, with
less than 500,000 passing and getting the chance for further
education in universities. He suggested "baccalaureate" exams be
implemented to graduate from high school, and that vocational
education must supported.

AKP, CHP Debate Draft 'Favoring' US Cargill
Hurriyet and Milliyet report that the Turkish Parliament's
agriculture commission witnessed heated debates Thursday over an AKP
bill which allows unlicensed facilities built on farming lands to
become operative again if the owners pay 5 Turkish Lira for each
square-meter. The opposition CHP said the bill was submitted solely
to safeguard the interests of US food giant Cargill operating in
Bursa Province on a 195,000 square-meter property, and that Cargill
would pay the humble amount of 1 million Lira if the bill is passed.


Gul to Visit the US in Early July
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others:
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is expected to travel to the US in the
first week of July to meet with Secretary Rice and discuss Iran,
Iraq, Cyprus, the PKK, and CIA rendition flights. Papers expect the
US-Turkey Strategic Vision Document to be disclosed during the Gul
visit. During his stay in the US, Gul will also make preparations
for the trip of Prime Minister Erdogan to the US, a visit expected
to occur in fall this year. Radikal and Zaman speculate that after
returning from the US, Gul would call on Tehran without public
notification in advance. The Turkish FM is expected to host his
Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zabari before traveling to the US.

On Friday, before leaving for Almaty to attend the Conference on
Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA,) Gul
told the press that he would visit the
United States on July 5. "I hope we will release the strategic
vision paper together with US officials during my visit," Gul said,
adding that there was no problem regarding the preparation of the
document.

Editorial Comments on Turkey's EU Process

ANKARA 00003576 002 OF 003

Cengiz Aktar, writing in mainstream Vatan, argues that the Cyprus
issue has hijacked the process: "Most likely with support from
Greece, the Republic of Cyprus managed to get a mention of Customs
Union implementation included in the Joint Negotiations Document
during the Turkey-EU negotiations for the Science and Research
chapter although it had nothing to with the content of the
negotiations. The Greek Cypriot side got what it wanted; and this
attempt should serve as an indicator for the rest of the
negotiations -- Cyprus' revenge-seeking Turkey policy will continue
all through the negotiation process and the Cyprus issue will always
be on the agenda during Turkey's EU accession process.
Unfortunately, the Cyprus issue did not only take Turkey's EU
process hostage, but the Turkey-EU relationship as well. Neither
Turkey, nor the EU can think about the overall accession process any
longer since they both have to focus on the Cyprus issue."

Writing in mainstream Sabah, Fatih Altayli outlines the concerns of
the Turkish military regarding Turkey's EU membership, noting that
they may be obstacles difficult to overcome: "The military is not
against the EU but they have concerns related to two issues: the
Aegean and Cyprus. According to the military, the island of Cyprus
is strategically important for Turkey, and losing Cyprus will affect
Turkey's power in the region. The other important problem will come
after Turkey's EU accession, the military believes. Greece will
immediately increase its territorial waters in the Aegean to 12
miles. This means, with Turkey's EU accession, the borders will be
lifted in the Aegean and it will become a sea of Europe, and control
of the sea and air will pass to Greece. This is the biggest concern
of the Turkish military. It seems rather hard for Turkey to become
an EU member with these two concerns."

TV Highlights
NTV (8 a.m.)

Domestic News

- A time bomb left in a trash container at a major outdoor bus
station injured at least three people in Eminonu in central Istanbul
on Thursday, police said.

- A terrorist died on Thursday in eastern city of Van when the hand
grenade he tried to throw at security forces exploded. Police found
A-4 and C-4 explosives in his house. Another PKK terrorist was
killed in a clash with security forces in the southeastern city of
Mardin.

- President Ahmadinejad has removed the ban on Iranian charter
flights to Turkey's Aegean province of Izmir.

- Standard and Poor's reaffirmed Turkey's credit ratings despite
volatility in local financial markets. S&P comments contrast with
Fitch Ratings, which on Wednesday warned investors it may revise
down its positive outlook on Turkey's ratings if "there are further
policy slippages or negatives shocks." S&P rates Turkey's long-term
foreign currency debt at "BB-" and its short-term foreign currency
debt at "B." The outlook on the country is positive. Fitch has
Turkey's foreign and local currency ratings at "BB-".

International News

- EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Cyprus and declining
reforms were the largest hurdles challenging Turkey's EU entry bid.
Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said EU should
suspend accession talks with Ankara unless Greek Cypriots are
granted access to Turkish ports and airports by the end of this
year.

- The UN Security Council voted on Thursday that UN peacekeepers
remain in Cyprus for another six months as UNSYG Annan acknowledged

ANKARA 00003576 003 OF 003


the impasse would not be resolved before he leaves his post at the
end of the year.

- President Abbas has denied Israeli press reports that he helped in
the transfer of Israeli weapons to al-Fatah.

- An Iraqi group calling itself Al-Imam Ali Brigades abducted
Turkish technician Hasan Eskinutlu and his translator in northern
Baghdad. The group demanded the Turkish government withdraw its
Ambassador in Baghdad and halt Turkish supplies to US military bases
in Iraq.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>