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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
THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2007


In Today's Papers

Party Leaders Continue Debate over Presidential Election
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan said the CHP leader Deniz
Baykal was acting "like a spoiled child" with his refusal to
compromise on the presidential candidates picked by the AKP and
stressed the best way to solve the issue is to "go to the people."
Erdogan urged Baykal not to "shut the doors" on compromise, and
called on the CHP leader to nominate someone. Baykal had said the
day before that the new president should be someone free of
political party links and who is not a member of the parliament.

On the other hand, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul implied in an
interview with yesterday's Milliyet that he will run for president
if support for the AKP increases in the elections, drawing
speculation in today's papers that the FM disagreed with Erdogan who
had said the new candidate would be nominated according to the new
post-election balance in parliament. Mainstream papers speculate
that Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, State Ministers Mehmet Aydin and
Besir Atalay, AKP candidate for parliament Prof. Zafer Uskul, and
Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener are among the candidates
being considered by Erdogan.

Turkey's US Ambassador on the PKK
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report the
Turkish Ambassador to US Nabi Sensoy told defense writers in
Washington that Massoud Barzani's KDP and other Kurdish groups were
providing the PKK shelter, arms and explosives. Sensoy also accused
Iraqi Kurdish leader Barzani of supplying the PKK with US-made
weapons which were used in terror attacks in Turkey. He added he
did not believe the US supplied arms to the PKK. Sensoy also noted
Ankara wanted the US to press the Iraqi administration to declare
the PKK a terror organization.

Iraqi Delegation to Visit Turkey
Sabah, Cumhuriyet and Yeni Safak report a high-level delegation from
the Iraqi Foreign Ministry is expected to visit Turkey soon to
discuss the PKK problem and Turkish military buildup along the Iraq
border. Iraqi Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Dr. Muhammad Haci
Hamed told PUK Media website that the Iraqi delegation would seek a
peaceful solution to the PKK problem with Turkey. Hamed stressed a
Turkish incursion into Iraq would cause humanitarian and economic
devastation in the region. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said
that they did not have any information about an upcoming Iraqi
delegation.

Editorial Commentary on Turkey's Iraq Policy
Semih Idiz observes in the mainstream Milliyet: "There are heated
debates taking place in the US Senate regarding troop withdrawal
from Iraq. Turkey should pay close attention to the Democrats'
proposals for withdrawal. A US troop withdrawal from Iraq could be
interpreted as a positive development by the Turkish public who are
full of anti-US sentiments, but among the plans there are items that
would not be to Turkey's benefit. For example, dividing Iraq
according to its natural ethnic structure is one of the Democrats'
proposals. Political observers who know Iraq well believe that
there are many drawbacks to dividing Iraq into three regions based
on ethnicity. One other possibility that Democrats propose is
pulling the remaining US troops to the safe Kurdish region in
Northern Iraq. The Turkish military has already stressed openly
that this will not be a favorable solution to Turkey. So what is
the best choice for Turkey? Definitely, closer coordination with
the Bush Administration is the answer. Unfortunately, recently
increased anti-American sentiment in Turkey doesn't allow for full
coordination. Of course, the PKK issue is another obstacle to
coordination. Nevertheless, the developments prove that the Iraq
problem doesn't only consist of the PKK issue. Whatever the outcome
of the elections, the new government should develop broader policies
on Iraq."


ANKARA 00001783 002 OF 002


Polls Predict AKP Victory in July 22 Elections
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak carries the results of two election
surveys. According to a survey conducted by Kaf Agency in 17
provinces through interviews with 2635 Turks from June 28-July 2,
the distribution of votes among the parties will be: AKP 43.7%, CHP
21.1%, MHP 9.4%, GP 6.1%, Independent 6.2%, and others 5.8%, meaning
that only AKP and CHP will be represented in the new parliament.
Another survey carried out by MIR Co. on July 1-7 in 18 provinces
with 5100 people predicts the following vote distribution: AKP
40.4%, CHP 21.1%, MHP 10.1%, and others 12.1%, meaning that MHP
would also cross the threshold and have representation in
parliament.

Mainstream Vatan carries a public opinion survey conducted in 17
provinces in the first week of July by GENAR Co. for the Turkish
investment company AkYatirim. It predicts the following
distribution of votes in July 22 elections: AKP 39.4% (302 seats,)
CHP 21.8% (137 seats,) and MHP 12.4% (74 seats).

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told NTV that Turkey would take the
necessary measures against the PKK attacks originating from northern
Iraq if the Iraqi administration declines to do so.

- One PKK terrorist has been killed in security operations in the
eastern province of Tunceli on Wednesday.

- The head of the UN Development Program (UNDP) Kemal Dervis said
the UN was not successful in the fight against poverty.

- Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said he plans to teach
"institutional economy" at Ankara's Hacettepe University after the
July 22 elections. Sener was an associate professor of economy
before he joined politics.

International News

- An estimated 30,000 people, including chief UN war crimes
prosecutor Carla del Ponte, gathered in Srebrenica to commemorate
the 12th anniversary of the killings of about 8,000 Muslim men and
boys.

- US military spokesman Brigadier General Kevin Bergner said
al-Qaeda killed or wounded more than 4000 Iraqis in suicide attacks
over the past six months.

- US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Tuesday the
country faced a heightened chance of a terrorist attack this summer.


- OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(PACE) are to send observers to Turkey to monitor July 22 elections.


WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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