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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7387
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1156
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1039
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5408
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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5121
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1761
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
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RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 004937

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 25, 2006


In Today's Papers

Historic Reforms in the Turkish Armed Forces
All papers report that the Turkish military will undergo a major
restructuring. In line with the proposed new structure, two army
commands will be abolished and the Land Force, Naval Force and Air
Force commands will be united under the General Staff. Under the
plan, the Aegean Army and the 3rd Army will be abolished and the
military will have two army commands, the 1st Army, stationed in
Istanbul and the 2nd Army to be stationed in Malatya. Under the new
structure, force commanders will become deputies to the Chief of
General Staff. Outgoing Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok,
reportedly, designed the plan - a plan on which he started to work
while he was commander of the Land Forces.

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Southern Cyprus to Host UNIFIL Base
Sabah, Vatan: Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas said
yesterday that the UN will use Nicosia, Cyprus as a logistics hub to
facilitate the speedy deployment of peacekeepers to Lebanon. While
some sources say that the center will serve as transit point for the
movement of troops that will join UNIFIL in Lebanon, other sources
say that the center will handle only administrative issues.

Oktay Eksi writing in the mass appeal Hurriyet urges Turkey to
carefully evaluate the role of the UNIFIL forces before committing
troops: "A cautious attitude on sending troops to Lebanon is the
right approach. The unit to be sent to Lebanon will serve in a
risky region and might have to use arms. Given the conditions
there, it is unrealistic to claim that there will be no use of
weapons. The definition of the Turkish force's duty is very
important because Turkish troops should not assume the duty of
finishing what Israel started since this will only fuel animosity
toward Turkey. Sending troops to Lebanon is not against Turkish
interests as long as the mission is well-defined and it will help
Turkey to further increase respectability in the region."

Also urging caution, Hasan Mesut Hazar writing from Washington for
the conservative-nationalist Turkiye, argues that if the role of the
forces is other than humanitarian "more human tragedy" will be
inevitable: "Turkey is right not to find the current UN resolution
satisfactory. There is still some ambiguity about the international
force's duties. In the past, from Cyprus to Africa, from Iraq to
Israel-Palestine, the UN failed to solve the problems. The double
standards used during the deciding stage of the resolutions and the
implementation of these resolutions created a dysfunctional UN.
Therefore, it is appropriate for Turkey to approach the mission in
Lebanon cautiously. If the peacekeeping force in Lebanon becomes
engaged in fighting instead of working for humanitarian purposes,
more human tragedy in the Middle East will be inevitable."

Cross-Border Operations against PKK
Cumhuriyet, Zaman: Cumhuriyet reports that Turkey increased
pressure on the Iraqi government to eliminate the PKK in Northern
Iraq. The Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad, Unal Cevikoz, has met
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to reiterate Turkish demands
on the issue. Zebari and Cevikoz discussed moves for the
elimination of the PKK and for handing over top PKK militants to
Turkey. Zebari submitted Turkish requests for cross-border
operations against the PKK to Kurdish leaders Barzani and Talabani,
but they both rejected the Turkish request. Meanwhile, Zaman
reports that Turkish F-16 jets from the Second Tactical Air Force
Command at Diyarbakir carried out bomb attacks against the Kani
Massi and Snaht regions of "South Kurdistan" in northern Iraq.

Lockheed Martin Offers Turkey Advanced Patriot Missile System
Aksam reports that American company Lockheed Martin offered to sell
Turkey the PAC-3 missile defense system, an upgraded version of
Patriot defense missiles. Turkey's Defense Industry

ANKARA 00004937 002 OF 002


Undersecreteriat is expected to release soon a tender for foreign
companies interested in the program for medium range missile defense
systems.

Editorial Opinion: "Turkish Self-Confidence and Syrian Double Talk"
Commenting in the English language The New Anatolian, Cengiz Candar
warns that Syrian officials should not be trusted: "What is
annoyingly cynical is Bashar Assad's concern for Lebanese
sovereignty which has been trampled over for more than two decades
by Syria. Syria still does not recognize Lebanon as a sovereign
nation and does not have any diplomatic relations with it. Lebanese
sovereignty for Bashar's regime is synonymous for 'Syrian freedom of
action in Lebanon' and the unimpeded right of Syria to arm
Hezbollah. That is why he sees the deployment of UN troops along
the Lebanese-Syrian border as a hostile act against Syria. As long
as Turkish officials are not naove enough to believe everything that
they hear (and why) in Damascus and as long as they are able to
translate Syrian double talk, there is no problem."


TV Highlights
NTV (8 a.m.)

Domestic News

Q Public Sector Union KESK withdraws from collective bargaining
talks with the government
Q Outgoing Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok bid farewell to Prime
Minister Erdogan
Q Five PKK terrorists give up themselves to the security forces in
Sirnak


International News

Q In a letter to the troops, Israeli army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz
has acknowledged for the first time that there were shortcomings in
the military's performance during the recent fight against
Hezbollah.
Q Syrian President Bashar Assad has warned that a deployment of
international troops along Lebanon's border with Syria would be a
hostile act.
Q Astronomers downsize solar system from nine planets to eight.
Pluto loses its planetary status.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

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