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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006160

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
MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2006


In Today's Papers

Turkey Celebrates National Day
All papers report on celebrations for the 83rd anniversary of the
foundation of the Republic of Turkey that took place around Turkey
on Sunday. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said at a reception held at
the Presidential Cankaya Palace that his term in office witnessed
the most difficult years for Turkey since the establishment of the
Republic. "We should always be careful against threats targeting
our democratic and secular Republic. Any weakness will make such
conscious threats permanent. It is evident that some circles do not
overlap with the image of modern Turkey. Religion is a holy fact
that should never be used for political ends. Turkey has always
been a modern country and will continue to be so," Sezer stressed.
Mainstream papers and Cumhuriyet quote the Turkish General Staff
(TGS) Chief General Yasar Buyukanit that "as a citizen of Turkey, I
find President Sezer excellent. He defends all the values of the
Republic," without elaborating further whether his remarks had
anything to do with the ongoing debate over who will replace Sezer
next year as the new president of Turkey. Buyukanit said it was not
appropriate for the issue be turned into a polemic. Sabah quotes
opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal as saying, "I hope Erdogan will
not attempt to become the new president of Turkey. The problem is
the militant mentality with which Erdogan is eyeing the post."

EU-Cyprus
Sabah, Hurriyet, Milliyet and weekend papers: Sabah reports that
the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn has criticized negative
debates about Turkey's EU entry. Rehn said that the debates had
weakened Turkish determination for reform and damaged the EU's
credibility. Saturday's Zaman reported Rehn as saying that the
Cyprus issue will "remain on the table until the EU's December
summit meeting in Finland. The commission will update the report if
needed." Rehn added that Turkey must fulfill its obligations
towards Cyprus by the end of the year. Saturday's Radikal noted
that the EU draft report contained references about an earlier EU
declaration on the Cyprus issue. The declaration warns that talks
between Turkey and the EU could suffer if Turkey fails to meet its
responsibilities in Cyprus. Milliyet reports that, commenting on
the Finnish plan for solving the Cyprus issue, Prime Minister
Erdogan said that "the plan is not reasonable and not different;
nevertheless, we will consider the plan.' Zaman covers the words of
Greek-Cypriot leader Papadopulos in an interview with Filelefteros
newspaper as saying that "to continue the negotiations, the least
Turkey can do is return Varossa (Maras) to Greek Cypriots."

Turkey-Iraq Joint Economic Committee Meeting
Hurriyet reports that Turkey and Iraq will hold their 16th joint
economic committee meeting. Reportedly, Iraq wants to bargain about
the control of Euphrates and Tigris rivers and asked Turkey to add
"water resources" to the agenda of discussions. However, last
Friday the Foreign Trade Under secretariat rejected the Iraqi offer
by saying that water resources were not linked to economic issues.


Editorial Commentary on Iraq
Washington-based Yasemin Congar argues in the mainstream Milliyet
that the overall approach in Washington toward the future of Iraq is
changing, pointing to the acceptance of a "loose federation" model:
"There are both Democrats and Republicans who believe a more
autonomous status in Iraq is needed for the Kurdish, Sunni and
Shiite regions, and are seriously considering an agreement between
the three regions on oil sharing. There is also a positive approach
to the idea of US forces stationed in northern Iraq as well as
providing special status to Kirkuk and Baghdad under a federal
structure. The defenders of this plan also emphasize that the
realization of these ideas require both an Iraq that does not serve
as a base for the PKK and a modus vivendi between Turkey and Iraqi
Kurdistan. Even the strong supporters of the current Iraq policy
within the administration, such as Edelman, the Pentagon's number

ANKARA 00006160 002 OF 002


three, are keeping the door open for the possibility of redefining
the federation for Iraq. The fact of the matter is that a 'loose
federation' formula is becoming the most realistic plan in the
debates for the future structure of Iraq. Now it remains to be seen
if President Bush will also find himself closer to a realistic plan
in the aftermath of the Congressional elections. Does Turkey have a
plan in case Washington moves toward a policy change?"

Writing in the conservative Bugun, Nuh Gonultas notes the prospects
of a US victory in Iraq are poor: "A back step from Washington on
Iraq policy should not be expected due to the super-power's pride,
yet the indications are leading to the conclusion that the US will
be the loser in Iraq. All of this does not come as surprise if we
remember the fact that this war was based on a series of lies. At
this point we should feel sorry not only for Iraqis but also for the
American people as long as Bush and the neo-cons remain in the
power."

USS Eisenhower Hosts Turkish Guests
Sabah, Aksam and Zaman report US Ambassador in Turkey, Ross Wilson,
invited a group of Turkish guests on board the USS Eisenhower over
the weekend. Sabah says "The giant American aircraft carrier USS
Eisenhower returned to the Mediterranean at a time of growing
speculation regarding military operations against Iran. Zaman
reports "USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the largest aircraft
carriers in the world, has returned to the Mediterranean after five
years. The aircraft carrier had been sent to the region under
debates in the US press on operations against Iran. Turkish guests
on board had an opportunity to watch jetfighters taking off for
operations.

TV News:
(NTV, 7.00 A.M.)

Domestic News

- The Turkish National Security Council (MGK) is to convene Tuesday
to discuss the fundamentalist threat as its main agenda item.

- The Turkish Parliament will debate Tuesday the new bill on
non-Muslim minority foundations. The ruling AKP government wants to
pass the bill before the release of the EU Commission's Turkey
progress report on November 8 while the opposition CHP opposes it
for being an "infringement of Lausanne Treaty".

- The Chief of Turkish General Staff General Yasar Buyukanit will
pay an official visit to Greece on November 1-4.

International News

- Gunmen have abducted and killed 17 policemen near the southern
Iraqi city of Basra.

- NATO and Afghan troops killed 55 suspected militants in
Afghanistan, while a roadside bomb killed one NATO soldier and
wounded eight others.

- The EU Commission's progress report to be released November 8 says
Turkey had failed to meet short-term goals for EU accession.
Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at

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

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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