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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003641

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
TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2006

In Today's Papers

Court Sentences Semdinli Suspects
All papers report two Turkish non-commissioned officers in the
jandarma, Ali Kaya and Ozcan Ildeniz, were sentenced by the Van
criminal court to 39 years and 5 months each for last year's bombing
of a bookstore in Semdinli in which one person was killed. The
court convicted Kaya and Ildeniz on charges of homicide, forming an
armed gang and attempted murder. The attack prompted riots in the
mainly Kurdish region and a parliamentary inquiry that followed the
unrest said the military may have orchestrated the attack to stir up
trouble in the region in an effort to justify tougher methods in the
fight against the separatist PKK. The case has focused attention on
Turkey's so-called deep state allegedly made up of nationalist
elements of the military and judiciary. In April, a prosecutor was
sacked after he accused the Commander of Land Forces, General Yasar
Buyukanit, of organizing an illegal group during his tenure in the
region. The case will go to the court of appeals.

FM Gul at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Meeting
Hurriyet, Radikal and others: Addressing the OIC Foreign Ministers
Conference in Baku, Gul said that Islamic countries need to make a
comprehensive effort to implement reforms. Reform in the Islamic
world is a necessity, not a suggestion, Gul added. Gul called on
the OIC members for a more effective effort for the solution of the
Cyprus issue. Gul told his Iranian counterpart Mottaki that the
incentive package prepared by the five permanent members of the
United Nations Security Council is the last chance to find a
solution to the nuclear standoff. Gul, reportedly, conveyed a
message to Mottaki that Turkey, as a neighbor of Iran, favors a
diplomatic solution to the crisis and will continue to exert efforts
in line with this position.

Radikal reports that, while in Baku, FM Gul was received by
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. The meeting focused on
Kars-Tbilisi-Javakheti (Ahilkelek)-Baku railway project. Gul
stressed that Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia should come together to
overcome several difficulties about the project. Aliyev highlighted
the importance of the inclusion of Kazakhstan in the pipeline
project while the two leaders were discussing Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
oil pipeline.

DTP (Democratic People's Party) Invites ETA and IRA to its
Convention on June 25
Milliyet, Yeni Safak: Preparing for its first Ordinary congress, the
DTP included politicians, NGOs, authors and members of the ETA and
IRA's political wing in its invitee list. IRA and ETA are still on
the terrorist organizations list of the US and the EU. Deputy
Chairman of DTP Alaattin Erdogan said that the Basque issue in Spain
and the Northern Ireland issue in the UK have begun democratic and
peaceful processes toward resolutions. Edrogan further explained
that as the Kurdish issue is similar to these countries' problems,
the DTP wanted to hear about examples for dialog directly from their
representatives. He added that the DTP believes that their
contribution to resolving the Kurdish issue could be important.
Both parties, reportedly, accepted the invitation and are going to
send their representatives.

Diplomatic Traffic
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is to attend the "Paris Pact
Initiative Ministerial Meeting" in Russia June 26-28 while he
accompanies President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on his state visit to
Moscow from June 28-30. Gul announced earlier that he would travel
to Washington on July 5. Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar
Zebari and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director
General Muhammad al-Baradei are also expected to visit Turkey in
July, with the latter coming to Ankara on the 6th for a three-day
visit.


ANKARA 00003641 002 OF 003


Top Business Group Urges 12 Years of Compulsory Education
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Cumhuriyet, Radikal, Zaman and others:
The influential Turkish businessmen's group TUSIAD has issued a call
for education reform in its report, "Education and Sustainable
Growth--The Turkish Experience," proposing that compulsory education
should be extended to 12 years (from the current eight years) and
that the curriculum should be revised. TUSIAD Chairman Omer Sabanci
said Turkey was well behind other nations in developing human
resources. "Turkey's economy has the potential to maintain 7
percent growth between 2006-2020, if investments are boosted in
addition to the ties between productivity and human resources," he
emphasized. The report also calls for the reform of higher
education, demanding competitive and creative universities. The
World Bank's Education Sector Study (ESS) had said in April that
Turkey's education system needs comprehensive reform from top to
bottom.


Editorial Comment: Palestine, Israel and Arab Leaders
Omer Taspinar, writing in Radikal, argues that, contrary to what
logic might tell us, finding a solution to the Israel-Palestinian
problem is against the interests of many Arab leaders: "Once a
Palestinian state is established, many authoritarian Arab regimes
will find themselves in a very difficult position. The States of
Palestine and Israel living in peace side by side poses a potential
threat to Arab leaders. If and when this happens, Arab public
opinion will naturally focus on in-house issues, such as oppressive
and incompetent regimes. In the absence of a Palestinian problem,
Arab regimes will undoubtedly face growing pressure for
democratization. In a nutshell, the continuation of the Palestinian
issue means prolonged rule for Arab dictators, so they don't
genuinely desire that a solution be found."


TV Highlights
NTV (8 a.m)

Domestic News

- Turkish Cypriot "Prime Minister" Ferdi Sabit Soyer said Greek
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni's "European United Cyprus Plan" was
a tactical step aimed at easing Athens' troubled policy on the
island.

- Ankara has to meet the requirements of the European Court of Human
Rights by June 22 to solve the issue of disputed Greek Cypriots'
properties in the north of the divided island.

- Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus is to arrive in Ankara on
Tuesday at the official invitation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer
on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral ties as well as regional and
international topics.

- Moody's Vice-president Kristin Lindow said Turkey's credit rating
would not be pulled down.

International News

- An insurgent grouping tied to al-Qaida's Iraq branch claimed
responsibility for the abduction of two US soldiers and four Russian
diplomats in Iraq, in statements posted on the Internet.

- The US and Iraqi forces sealed off the Sunni rebel town of Ramadi
by setting up new checkpoints on all the entry and exit roads in a
bid to eliminate the insurgents.

- The chief prosecutor in the Saddam Hussein trial has demanded the
death penalty for the ousted Iraqi president and two other
defendants.


ANKARA 00003641 003 OF 003


- US, Japan reacted strongly to reports claiming North Korea was
preparing to test the long range Taepodong-2 nuclear missile. White
House Spokesman Tony Snow said if Pyongyang carries on with the
test, there will be "appropriate retaliation."

- Sources close to Prime Minister Andres Fogh Rasmussen said the US
has been pressing Denmark to close the Copenhagen-based Kurdish
broadcaster Roj TV.


Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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