Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO4573
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #4835/01 2301512
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181512Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8079
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7370
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1127
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1025
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5397
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5104
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1743
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 004835

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, AUGUST 18, 2006


In Today's Papers

Debate over Turkish Troops to Lebanon
All papers: Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman Namik Tan said
at a weekly press briefing that no decision has been taken with
regard to the deployment of Turkish troops to South Lebanon as part
of a UN peacekeeping force. "If Turkey sends troops, it will only
be for humanitarian and logistical purposes," Tan stated, stressing
that Turkish soldiers would not be tasked with disarming Hezbollah.
Tan said the government was debating the issue with military
officials and regional countries. Sabah reports Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul as warning that Turkey would have a serious "prestige
problem" if it abstains from taking part in the international force
for Lebanon. "Being the successor of the Ottoman Empire that has
controlled the region for centuries, and the strongest state of the
Middle East, Turkey might have serious prestige problems if it
abstains from sending troops to Lebanon. Sending troops to Lebanon
would be the right thing for everybody to do," Gul told the press in
Ankara on his return from Lebanon yesterday. The main opposition
CHP leader Deniz Baykal said "Turkey must give priority to the
elimination of PKK terrorism instead of dealing with the situation
in Lebanon. First of all, we must control our own border."

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Cumhuriyet says the Turkish military was right in believing Turkey
should not hurry to participate in an international force for
Lebanon while Arab countries were hesitant to do so. Papers say
Turkish troops in Lebanon should only work to reinforce stability
and distribute humanitarian aid. Yeni Safak reports Turkey was
planning to send between 600-800 soldiers to Lebanon as well as
doctors, nurses, veterinary specialists, and imams. Zaman says
although Americans respected Turkish conditions for joining the
international Lebanon force, they still insist that Turkey's
participation was necessary.

Mark Malloch Brown, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said Turkey has
expressed a willingness to contribute to the international force for
Lebanon. Brown noted the peacekeeping contingency would be a
"Muslim-European" one. Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora invited
Turkish soldiers to Lebanon, saying even the Armenian minister in
his cabinet backed the idea of Turkish peacekeepers in the country.


Ali Bulac, commenting in the Islamist-oriented Zaman urges Turkey to
"keep its distance" from the "chamber of fire" that is Lebanon: "It
is not clear that the so-called ceasefire in Lebanon will hold.
Even if it holds for a while, if the US and Israel don't give up
their plans, they will attack Iran and Syria in the end. It is a
well-known fact that Israel was preparing to attack Lebanon for
months and the US had knowledge of this plan. Israel wasn't able to
eliminate Hezbollah with this war, on the contrary, Hezbollah
managed to strengthen its power. This brings us to the conclusion
that Hezbollah is going to attack Israel if there is an attack on
Syria or Iran. Where does Turkey stand in case of such an attack?
Turkey should carefully consider the reasons why the US and Israel
are insistently asking Turkey to send troops to Lebanon. Israel aims
to use the UN force to eliminate Hezbollah. Turkey should do its
best to keep its distant from this chamber of fire."

Israel Asks Turkey to Block Arms Flow to Hezbollah
Radikal cites a Reuters report in which a senior Israeli security
source said on Thursday that Israel has asked Ankara to impose an
air and land embargo to prevent Iranian weapons from being funneled
to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Turkish territories.
The source said the arms traffic through Turkey was important as
other routes for arms transfer to Hezbollah through Jordan and Iraq
had been cut off. The source said a successful implementation of
the international arms embargo would determine the success of the UN
effort in Lebanon. Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman Namik

ANKARA 00004835 002 OF 003


Tan said Turkey would not allow illegal arms transfers, underlining
that Turkey would make its own decision regarding Israeli demands
for embargo. Tan also confirmed a Hurriyet report on Wednesday that
Iranian planes had been forced to land at Diyarbakir airport on July
27 and on August 8 on suspicion that they were carrying arms, but
that no military equipment was found.

Reaction to US Call for PKK to Disarm
All papers: Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) Spokesman Namik Tan,
commenting on a statement recently released by the US State
Department calling on the PKK to disarm, said, "We expect concrete
action regarding the PKK rather than statements on what we already
know," Tan said. Tan added that talks with the PKK were not
possible even if the terrorists decide to abide by the US call.
Cumhuriyet reports Tan also said it was Turkey who had asked the US
to name a special PKK coordinator.

Hasan Mesut Hazar commenting from Washington in the
conservative-nationalist daily Turkiye, argues that the US needs to
"eliminate the PKK" as soon as possible: "It is difficult to
understand why the US acts this slowly on the PKK issue when the US
and Israel are bombing all the settlements in Lebanon and Iraq,
using as an excuse that they are potential future threats. Of
course, it will be in Turkey's benefit to fight against the PKK in
coordination with the trilateral mechanism (Turkey, the US and
Iraq). However, it is very disappointing for the US to delay the
start of this mechanism. In order to improve the strategic
partnership, the Turkey-US relationship, coordination on the Greater
Middle East Project, and coordination in countering global
terrorism, the US should eliminate the PKK as soon as possible.
Otherwise the increasing anger toward the US in the Turkish public
is going to have a serious effect on world peace."

Germany to Send Syriac Immigrants Back to Turkey
Radikal reports some 10,000 Syriacs who had been granted temporary
asylum in Germany faced deportation to Turkey. Saliba Ozmen, the
Metropolitan of Deyrulzaferan Monastery in Mardin in southeast
Turkey, said Germany had granted temporary residence for the Syriacs
until peace and stability were restored in Turkey, and now was
sending the migrants back home due to the improving conditions in
the region.


TV Highlights
NTV (8 a.m.)

Domestic News

- The Turkish government and civil servant labor unions fail to
agree in the second round of collective bargaining talks on
Thursday.

- Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) is to convene on August
21 to discuss the situation in the Middle East, developments in
northern Iraq, and the fight against terrorism.

- Earthquakes which hit Turkey between 1976 and 2005 cost the
country USD 8.5 billion. The biggest natural disaster logistics
support center in Europe and the Middle East has been opened in
Istanbul.

- Ankara leads Turkish cities in terms of domestic violence with 10
percent of women in the Turkish capital beaten or killed by their
husbands.

International News

- Hezbollah is providing a year's ent and new furniture for every
family whose house has been destroyed by the Israeli attacks in
south Lebanon.


ANKARA 00004835 003 OF 003


- The Armenian party in Lebanon, holding six seats in the
parliament, expressed opposition in a statement to participation of
Turkish troops in the prospective peacekeeping force for Lebanon.

- President Ahmadinejad said Iran would not give up its right to
continue nuclear enrichment work.


Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.