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Cablegate: Pkk Issue: Update On Violence and Political Developments

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RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHAK #6508/01 3311540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271540Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0075
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKDAI/DIA WASHDC
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA//
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/425ABS IZMIR TU//CC//
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEPGAB/MNF-I C2X BAGHDAD IZ

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006508

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV TU IZ
SUBJECT: PKK Issue: Update on Violence and Political Developments
(November 1-15, 2006)

REF: ANKARA 6300 and previous

(U) Sensitive but unclassified - please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) This is another in a series of periodic reports on PKK
violence in Turkey. Our primary sources for these reports are
mainstream Turkish press services, such as the Anatolian News
Agency, and international wire services. While these are more
reliable than most Turkish press sources, they are not necessarily
unimpeachable. Another source is the Turkish Armed Forces General
Staff (TGS) website which documents contacts/clashes with the PKK.
Press services sympathetic to the PKK, such as Neu-Isenburg People's
Defense Forces and Firat News Agency, tend to report higher numbers
of the Turkish Security Forces casualties and are often otherwise
unreliable.

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2. (U) During the November 1-15 period, three Turkish security
personnel were injured when they stepped on a PKK mine. During the
same period, Turkish security forces killed three PKK terrorists in
clashes in Sirnak province. 14 PKK members were arrested, including
three who were turned over to security officers by the Iraqi KDP and
two who were turned over by Syrian authorities. Security forces
detonated or seized landmines, hand-grenades, RPGs, rifles, RPG-7
rocket ammunition, electrical fuses, bullets and C4 and A4 plastic
explosives in different locations.

3. (U) "Milliyet" on November 3 quoted eight PKKers, who surrendered
to security officials and subsequently released, as testifying to
authorities that the PKK banned their communication with their
families when the number of those who fled the terrorist
organization went up. They said that the PKK was planning more
assassination attacks in Turkey. They also alleged that recently
Americans went to Qandil Mountain and met with PKK leaders Murat
Karayilan.
4. (U) Following are political comments by Turkish and Kurdish
officials:
-- TURKISH OFFICIALS:
- In an exclusive interview in "Hurriyet" on November 5, FM Abdullah
Gul warned that Iraqi Kurdish leaders -- specifically Barzani and
Talabani -- were on the verge of an historic mistake. He listed his
warnings as:

-- Do not pursue an independent Kurdistan;

-- Give up your illusion to take over Kirkuk;

-- Do not protect the PKK.

Gul went on, "Talabani and Barzani, by trusting the U.S. presence in
Iraq, should not be too ambitious. They should not forget that the
Republic of Turkey will survive in this region forever. The U.S.
will leave after some time." Gul asserted that the Iraqi Kurdish
leaders were hurting their friendship ties with Turkey and added,
"If they are clever and if they think about the territorial
integrity of Iraq, they should try to win Turkey's friendship."

On the establishment of a special envoy position, Gul told "Sabah"
in its Nov. 6 edition, "To tell the truth, we initially were not in
favor of the special envoy position introduced by the U.S., but the
U.S. wanted to coordinate the issue internally. The PKK is one of
thousands of issues for the U.S. But it is our number one issue."


- At a Nov. 3 meeting of European Interior Ministers in Antalya,
Turkish Interior Minister Aksu claimed that to this point more than
35,000 people had been killed and more than $100 billion spent in
the fight against the PKK.

- November 4, papers quoted Turkish National Police Spokesman Ismail
Caliskan as saying that the police were releasing PKKers who had not
otherwise committed a crime. Caliskan stressed that those who were
not involved in a crime were immediately released after providing
testimony under the "effective repentance" clause of the Turkish
Penal Code.

- Dailies on November 10 quoted CHOD Gen. Yasar Buyukanit as saying,

ANKARA 00006508 002.2 OF 002


"Americans say that we should talk to he Iraqi Government [about
the PKK] but nothing changes. They say that there has been a
legitimate government in Iraq. Then they should come and protect
the border."

5. (U) Following are selected columns on the topic:

- "Radikal" columnist Murat Yetkin ran a three-part column starting
on Nov. 13 which recorded the events of this past summer, when the
GOT threatened to carry out a cross-border operation into northern
Iraq.

Yetkin recounted the July 15 PKK ambush in Siirt province, which
left seven soldiers and one village guard dead. The following day,
FM Gul called for an extraordinary meeting of the Anti-Terror High
Council, and on July 17, the Turkish cabinet convened. During the
same hours, Yetkin wrote, the Turkish MFA summoned the U.S. and
Iraqi ambassadors and stressed that unless they took steps against
the PKK, Turkey would take all necessary measures, implying that it
would enter Iraq. The U.S. reportedly realized how determined
Turkey was.

During this period, PM Erdogan instructed then-CHOD Gen. Ozkok to do
whatever was necessary to secure the border region. Yetkin wrote
that the U.S. further learned of this mobilization from satellite
imagery and from the Iraqi Kurds.

Yetkin wrote that the military began to hit villages inhabited by
the PKK in northern Iraq with artillery fire and special forces
began operations. When the Iraqi Kurdish leaders realized that the
situation was serious, they began to pressure the PKK. Later the
U.S. and Turkey assigned special envoys.

Yetkin wrote that on September 27, Special Envoys Ralston and Baser
talked on the phone through a TGS secure line. Ralston reportedly
asked Baser how the U.S. should react to the PKK's floating of a
ceasefire. Baser responded by stressing that accepting the PKK as
an interlocutor would be a grave mistake. The same day, Yetkin
asserted, Ralston told the press that the PKK should lay down its
arms and renounce violence. Meanwhile, Ankara heard that Ralston
declined Barzani's appeal to persuade Turkey to offer an amnesty for
the PKK.

Yetkin claimed these developments led the GOT to believe that the
appointment of a U.S. special envoy was bringing results in its
fight against the PKK. Yetkin commented that U.S.-Turkish relations
remain tense because of the PKK's presence in Iraq but that Turkey
was somewhat reassured about U.S. intentions in this issue.

WILSON

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