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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2007


In Today's Papers

Intense Diplomatic Traffic in Ankara Causes Speculation
All papers report on 'dazzling' diplomatic traffic in Ankara on
Thursday, with Ambassador Ross Wilson meeting with Deputy Prime
Minister Abdullatif Sener after Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign
Minister Abdullah Gul called on the Turkish General Staff (TGS)
chief Yasar Buyukanit earlier in the day. After his meeting with
the Ambassador, Sener went to the presidential palace, sparking
speculation that Turkey had adopted a decision for a cross-border
military incursion into northern Iraq. Liberal Radikal says the
busy traffic yesterday caused various conspiracy theories, but the
meetings held yesterday were 'not linked to each other.'

Cumhuriyet says Erdogan and Gul were briefed at the TGS with regard
to PKK moves as well as Turkish military attempts to counter the
terrorist organization. The military also gave details about the
location of PKK camps along the border in Iraqi territory. Military
officials added that an incursion into northern Iraq is inevitable,
and that Washington could be persuaded 'while the army was in
motion.' Military plans include three possible options against the
PKK -- air operations, extensive air and ground operations, and
pinpoint attacks, according to Cumhuriyet.

General Ralston Comments at CSIS
Milliyet, Sabah, Cumhuriyet: Speaking at a panel at the Center for
International and Strategic Studies, General (ret.) Joseph Ralston,
Special Envoy to Counter the PKK, said he would like to see Kurds in
Northern Iraq impose pressure on the PKK and kick terrorists out
from the area. PKK terrorists are murderers and all countries in
the world, including the US, should treat them as murderers.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reported that General Ralston
criticized Danish authorities for allowing PKK linked Roj TV to
broadcast from their countries.

Editorial Commentary on Hudson Institute Turkey Scenarios
Ismet Berkan commented in the liberal-intellectual daily Radikal:
"The Hudson Institute meeting is absolutely an ordinary event
because think-tanks need to brainstorm. Creating futuristic
scenarios, even in the extreme sense, is a necessity for brainstorm.
Meetings of this nature should be considered as part of the culture
of freedom of expression. However, the incorrect government
reaction to this meeting, in which officials blasted the military
for attending, was followed by a TGS statement that was equally
wrong. The Turkish military not only tried to argue that it had
'limited participation,' but it also agreed with the argument that
attendance at such meetings should be considered 'betrayal.' The
Turkish military itself organizes numerous war games and exercises.
Don't they realize that all of those exercises are based on
scenarios including a possible crisis? Can't the military see that
any war game is designed based on fictional war or chaos scenarios?
It seems Turkey has a very long way to go towards adopting a
mentality of free thought."

US Congress Report
Mainstream Hurriyet reports that according to a recent Congressional
Research Service (CRS) report, PM Erdogan's mistaken evaluation of
opposition parties contributed to one of the biggest political
crises in Turkish political history. The report posited that the
AKP, by nominating someone from among themselves as the Presidential
candidate, escalated tension in the country. The report adds that
if the AKP tries the same method again after the upcoming elections,
it is inevitable that the country would face a second tense period.
In evaluating the various parties participating in the elections,
the report characterized PM Erdogan as authoritarian and overly
sensitive to criticism, indicated by his litiginous activities
towards the press, indicates he does not fully understand freedom of
speech.

Erdogan Sees 'Deep Turkey' v 'Deep State'

ANKARA 00001603 002 OF 003


All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan yesterday claimed that a
recent investigation into activities of a criminal ring - including
members who are former military officials -caught with explosives
pointed to the existence of 'deep state' structures in Turkey. "But
thank God, in opposition to them we have 'deep Turkey' which loves
this nation. We must see that deep Turkey emerges as victorious in
its fight against deep state," Erdogan said.

Hamas Calls for Turkish Mediation among Palestinian Groups
The conservative-Islamist-oriented Zaman reports Hamas' number two
official, Mahmoud Zahar, the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian
government sacked by President Abbas, called on Turkey to act as an
intermediary among the fighting groups in Palestine. He also asked
for Turkish help in the Palestinians' fight against international
sanctions. Zahar said the new government appointed by Abbas was
illegal and they (Hamas) would not obey any of the new government's
decisions. He said Fatah was 'worse than the PKK,' charging Fatah
leaders of cooperating with the US and Israel. Zahar denied Hamas
was manipulated by Iran, and stressed they were not planning to
create an Islamic state in Palestine.

Akcam to Take Article 301 to ECHR
Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet and Yeni Safak report Taner Akcam, a
Turkish professor at
The University of Minnesota, plans to apply to the European Court of
Human Rights (ECHR) for the abolishment of article 301 of the
Turkish Penal Code, the law that makes it illegal to "insult
Turkishness." Akcam, long a defendant of the thesis that Ottoman
Turkish forces conducted a genocide of Armenians at the beginning of
the last century, said article 301 poses a threat to his academic
work, is a barrier against Turkey's EU aspirations, and also
constitutes an attack against the rights of Turkish Armenians.

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- The Turkish High Election Board said 7395 candidates, including
726 independents, are registered to run in the July 22 parliamentary
elections.

- Daily Milliyet's Washington correspondent Yasemin Congar, charged
with bias in her report about a recent Hudson Institute meeting on
Turkey, insists her reporting was well-grounded.

- On June 23, NGOs will hold a silent rally in Istanbul and
Zonguldak, and on June 24 in Usak, Bursa, Gaziantep and Trabzon,
against terror inspired by a recent call from the chief of the
Turkish General Staff to display unity against terror.

- Russian President Putin will participate in the Black Sea Economic
Cooperation meeting to be held in Istanbul on June 25.

International News

- The regional Kurdish administration is preparing to open
representative offices in 15 countries, including Germany, France,
Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

- Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat blamed France and Russia
for acting as 'Greek Cypriot militants' in the UN Security Council.


- A four-way summit will take place in Egypt on Monday between the
Palestinian, Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders.

- A Taliban spokesman said militants are changing their tactics in
Afghanistan and will increasing attacks in Kabul.


ANKARA 00001603 003 OF 003


WILSON

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