Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2007
In Today's Papers
Erdogan Calls for International Cooperation against Terrorism
All papers report that on Wednesday, Prime Minister Erdogan told the
World Chambers Federation Forum in Istanbul that Turkey now wants to
see "action" from its friends rather than mere statements of support
saying that the PKK was a terror organization. The PM noted the
importance of joint international action against terrorism,
stressing that Turkey had done its part to combat international
terrorism, urging friendly countries to move in the same way.
Papers comment that with pressure mounting on the government for a
cross-border operation, eyes are turned to the next meeting of the
cabinet, scheduled for July 9. Papers also report Erdogan met with
former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the sidelines of the
Editorial Commentary on Northern Iraq; PKK-Cross Border Operation
Cuneyt Ulsever observes in the mainstream Hurriyet: "Just a short
while ago, PM Erdogan rejected the allegations regarding a
cross-border operation into Northern Iraq. But, following pressure
from the opposition parties CHP and MHP, and feeling that the AKP is
losing out on the Northern Iraq issue due to the lack of clear
policies, PM Erdogan made a sudden change in his stance and started
to act as if he would adopt a resolution for a cross-border
operation. In the past, the government was unable to pass the March
1 petition [the March 1, 2003, resolution to allow US troops to
enter Iraq through Turkey] because Kurdish-origin AKP deputies
vetoed it. Today, when 154 AKP deputies have been eliminated from
the candidate lists [for the upcoming July 22 election] it will
never be possible to pass the petition in the Parliament. Prime
Minister Erdogan is just pretending that he would adopt the
Guneri Civaoglu comments in the mainstream daily Milliyet: "It is
true that terrorists and weapons come to Turkey from Northern Iraq.
And it is true that the PKK bases in Kandil Mountain and in
Northern Iraq could be destroyed. However, this would only serve as
a good lesson to them and would never eliminate PKK terrorism. Did
34 previous cross-border operations ever manage to eliminate the
PKK? I am obliged to remind people of this fact when the rumors
started that the Parliament might convene extraordinarily to debate
a cross-border operation."
Retired Military Officers Involved in Nationalist Organizations
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak and
others report a retired gendarme general living in Istanbul was the
"number one" inside the ultranationalist association Patriotic
Forces Union. The police are now trying to find out who the retired
general is. Papers note prosecutors are probing the role of the
members of the association in the slaying of Armenian-Turkish
journalist Hrant Dink. The head of the association Taner Unal
reportedly told the police that retired captain Muzaffer Tekin was
behind the murder of Dink. Tekin is among the main suspects
implicated in the Council of State (Danistay) attack perpetrated by
an ultranationalist lawyer which resulted in the killing of a high
justice in Ankara last year.
US Position on Combating the PKK: AP Report
Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others carry an AP story on
the US cooperation with Turkey against the PKK, and quote an
unidentified high level US diplomat as saying in the AP story that
"the US has not paid sufficient attention or devoted enough
resources to address Turkish concerns" on the issue. Papers also
quote Brigadier General Perry Wiggins, Deputy Director for
Operations, Joint Staff, as "repeating after Secretary of Defense
Gates" that a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq "would
not be helpful."
Embassy Ankara Holds Independence Day Reception
All papers and TV broadcasts report that at the US Ankara Embassy's
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Independence Day Reception held Wednesday, the Turkish government
was represented by Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, State Minister Ali
Babacan, and former Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, and the military
by lieutenant generals. Ambassador Wilson and Minister Gonul
delivered brief speeches at the reception. Gonul said Turkey and
the US achieved great successes with regard to settlement of peace
and freedom in several regions, underlining both countries also
cooperated on defense, energy, economy, culture and tourism.
Ambassador Wilson is quoted as responding to press questions that
the US will work with whatever new government emerges after the
elections. Papers comment the Turkish military was represented at
lower levels than in previous years, in protest against "the US
inaction against the PKK."
AKP-Commissioned Poll Sees Three Parties in Parliament
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak carries an election survey commissioned
by the ruling AKP and conducted by Pollmark polling company.
According to the survey which canvassed the views of 5,000 Turks on
June 26-28, the distribution of votes after the undecided votes are
added would be as follows: AKP 40.5 percent, CHP 21.0, MHP 10.5, DP
7.0, GP 6.5, and others 7.5, with 7.0 saying they would not vote.
Meanwhile, tabloid Aksam reports various opinion polls ahead of the
July 22 parliamentary elections show the AKP will win between 274
and 325 seats in the 550-seat parliament, with its share of the vote
varying between 39.8 percent and 43 percent.
- The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement saying Turkey
has never made commitments to the US to abstain from incursion into
northern Iraq in exchange for loans.
- The PKK is backed by 28 countries, according to former Justice
Minister Cemil Cicek.
- Turkey's banned Islamist leader, former Prime Minister Necmettin
Erbakan said supporting the AKP means "supporting Zionism."
- Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the World
Chambers Forum meetings in Istanbul that Turkey has made big
progress in curbing inflation and interest rates.
- BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been released after nearly
four months as a prisoner in Gaza.
- The regional Kurdish administration president Massoud Barzani told
Euronews TV that a Turkish cross-border military incursion into
northern Iraq would lead to a destructive war in the region.
- A roadside bomb killed six NATO soldiers and their Afghan
interpreter in a southern Afghan region.
- On Wednesday, Palestinian civil servants began receiving their
first full salaries in 17 months.