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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 004905

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


THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2006


In Today's Papers

Turkish Participation in the Peacekeeping Force
All papers: Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan signaled yesterday
Turkey's readiness to send troops to the international force in
Lebanon by saying that Ankara is making final detailed evaluations
to minimize risks for its soldiers to be deployed in Lebanon, while
the government is also waiting for the UN to clarify rules of
engagement. Tan reiterated that Turkey will not send any troops to
Lebanon if the international peace keeping force is given the task
of disarming Hezbollah. Tan noted that Turkey will send troops only
for humanitarian purposes and for reconstruction of Lebanon's
infrastructure. Bugun and other papers report that Turkey sent an
advance team to Lebanon to investigate the working conditions for
the troops.

In Islamist-oriented Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce advised the
Turkish government to focus on the goal of EU accession instead of
contributions to the Lebanon peacekeeping force. Stressing that
Turkey should become a part of European family first in order to
succeed with its Middle East goals, the writer says: "Turkey should
not be a part of projects that were prepared by others. It is the
US, Israel, Iran and Syria who turned the Middle East into a bonfire
and now through the UN they are asking Turkey to serve as a
firefighter. The responsible ones for the current situation in
Lebanon should also be able to find a solution. The Turkish
government should immediately turn its face to the EU and start
making new initiatives for the membership process."

Advising Turkey to play an active role in Lebanon, columnist Cuneyt
Ulsever writes in mainstream Hurriyet: "Turkey cannot stay aloof to
the ongoing fire in Middle East. Otherwise the fire will hit Turkey
eventually. Having the unique characteristics of being a democratic
and secular Muslim country, Turkey has a lot to offer to the Middle
East region - something which will not be suitable to Hamas,
Hezbollah and other radical fundamentalist organizations. Turkey's
own interests require it to assume an active role in Lebanon."

Turkish Middle East Diplomacy
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Namik Tan did not deny media
reports that the Prime Minister's Advisor Ahmet Davutoglu met with
Hamas leader Meshal during Gul's visit to Syria. Meanwhile, Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul's secret meeting with the families of abducted
Israeli soldiers during his visit to Israel last weekend has sparked
a domestic debate. Tan said yesterday that at the request of
Israeli Foreign Ministry officials, the meeting was kept secret and
held at Gul's hotel and it was not planned beforehand.

PKK Meets the Press
Hurriyet, Sabah, Cumhuriyet, Vatan, Milliyet: Papers reports that
the PKK arranged a press conference in Kandil Mountains to announce
its reactions to the US Administration's call to the PKK to lay down
its arms. International news agencies AFP and AP, together with Al
Jazeera TV and Milliyet newspaper from Turkey attended the press
conference. Cumhuriyet, citing a Turkish Intelligence Organization
(MIT) report as its source, claims that Washington has been
bargaining with the PKK to convince the terror organization to lay
down its arms and begin negotiations. The report, prepared by MIT
and submitted to the National Security Council (NSC) during their
meeting last Monday, says the PKK responded to the US call to lay
arms down by saying that "Turkey will never sit at the table with us
after the last 20 years of conflict." The MIT report also highlights
that the US will not harm the terror organization after establishing
such close contacts and that the PKK has free rein in Iraq.

ANKARA 00004905 002 OF 002


TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.
Domestic News

Q Outgoing TGS Chief Hilmi Ozkok visited leading opposition party
CHP headquarters to bid farewell to party leader Deniz Baykal
Q Three PKK supporters have been taken to custody in connection with
forest fires in Mugla and 5 PKK terrorists give up themselves to the
security forces in Sirnak
Q PM Erdogan starts a campaign for public donations for humanitarian
support to Lebanon


International News

Q US State Department deputy spokesman Gallegos said that Iran's
response to UN proposal falls short
Q Amnesty International accuses Israel of deliberate destruction of
Lebanese civilian infrastructure


Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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