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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2007

In Today's Papers

Kurdish Mayors Investigated for Praising the PKK
All papers report the Interior Ministry has assigned two inspectors
to probe allegations that Kurdish DTP mayors Osman Baydemir of
Diyarbakir and Ahmet Ertak of Sirnak were engaging in PKK
propaganda. In a recent interview with the Brussels-based Roj TV,
Baydemir reportedly referred to the PKK as "the armed Kurdish
opposition," whereas Ertak told French Channel 24 television station
"the PKK supports Kurdish people, and we support the PKK."

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PKK Attacks Cargo Train
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak and
others report a freight train going from Sivas to Erzurum was
attacked by PKK terrorists using remote control bombs, which
derailed seven cars. No injuries were reported. Papers speculate
the actual target of the bomb was the Erzurum Express train, which
was due to pass through the same spot two hours later with some 200
passengers.

Number of Guns Smuggled into Turkey Soars after US Iraq Invasion
Islamist-oriented Zaman cites an article in a police periodical
which reports that weapons and munitions smuggled into Turkey from
Iraq have increased by 235 percent following the US military
intervention in Iraq in 2003. Several armed assassination attempts
including the deadly attack on Council of State (Danistay) and the
killing of Italian Priest Santoro in Trabzon have been carried out
with unlicensed arms smuggled from northern Iraq. In 2006, more
than 50 percent of illegal weapons seized were taken in the Turkish
provinces on the border with Iraq and Syria, according to the
report.

Editorial Commentary on Palestine
Kamuran Ozbir comments on Iraq and Palestine in the nationalist
Ortadogu: "The Gaza strip is a stage for demonstrating the US
Administration's double- standard in the name of democracy. If the
US really were after democracy, it would not blockade Palestine and
cause hunger, but would accept dialog with the Palestinian
representatives. Palestinian leaders should understand that
Palestinians will never forgive the sale of the political system to
foreigners in return for money or power. Even though it sounds
unbelievable, the fact is freedom is much more valuable for the
Palestinians than food. I hope the parties involved in this game
come to understand this fact soon."

TV Highlights
NTV (6 A.M.)

Domestic News

- CHP leader Deniz Baykal challenged Prime Minister Erdogan to
discuss the presidential issue in a televised debate.

- MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has urged voters to give his party
enough backing to that they can change the constitution and revive
capital punishment when they come to power.

- The European Union is to build 17 elementary schools in the
southeastern city of Diyarbakir within the scope of a project to
support basic education in Turkey.

International News

- General Petraeus, the commander of US forces in Iraq, told the BBC
that fighting the insurgency in Iraq is a "long term endeavor" which
could take decades.

- Palestinian President Abbas told Italy's RAI TV al-Qaeda is moving
into Gaza thanks to the support of Hamas. Hamas strongly denied
Abbas' charges.

ANKARA 00001763 002 OF 002

- Cyprus' largest political party, AKEL, left the center-left
governing coalition Tuesday after its two coalition partners,
centrist DIKO and socialist EDEK, rejected AKEL leader Demetris
Christofias as the joint candidate for the presidential election in
February 2008.

- Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said 17 people, including 12
schoolchildren, have been killed in a Taliban suicide bombing in
southern Afghanistan.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

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