Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
MONDAY, JULY 16, 2007
In Today's Papers
All papers: Today's papers give extensive front page coverage to
the ruling AKP's rally held in Istanbul yesterday. Conservative
Turkiye and Islamist-oriented Zaman and Yeni Safak report that over
one million people attended, while tabloid Aksam referring to police
records, reports that 350,000 people attended the rally.
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that the AKP used
municipality resources to bring supporters to the rally location,
with mainstream Sabah reporting that AKP supporters were transported
to the site by 1600 busses, 17 ferries, and many other small boats
and a train. AKP leader Prime Minister Erdogan criticized the main
opposition party CHP leader Deniz Baykal sharply and said that the
CHP distorts economic facts in its election ads. Mainstream
Milliyet claims that the AKP municipalities have been distributing
food packages, clothing, coal, furniture, stationery, scholarship
and money to over two million families.
Meanwhile, the mainly Kurdish DTP organized a rally in Istanbul
yesterday to introduce the independent candidates they support.
Former DEP deputy Leyla Zana addressed the people and said that
Istanbul is a place for "multi-voices" and freedom. She delivered
her remarks first in Turkish and then in Kurdish.
Yeni Safak reports on a poll conducted by the KAF agency. According
to the survey, 49 percent of Turkish people consider having a strong
economy a priority issue. Thirty-nine percent think that having a
democratic administration is a priority and twelve percent believe
that having a strong military has prominence.
Turkey Makes Energy Deal with Iran
Weekend papers, Hurriyet, Today's Zaman and Yeni Safak: Papers
report on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Turkey and
Iran to bring natural gas from Iran to Europe through Turkey.
Sunday's Yeni Safak noted that while Russia works on the Southern
Stream gas project, by-passing Turkey in the shipment of Turkmen gas
to European markets, Turkey has made a secret deal with Iran.
Today's Yeni Safak reports that the project will end European
dependency on Russian natural gas and will increase Turkey's
importance on energy issues. Turkey will become a key energy base
with the Turkmenistan line to be developed, in addition to
Baku-Ceyhan, Blue Stream and Kirkuk-Yumurtalik lines. Sunday's
Hurriyet and Radikal say that the agreement will help Turkey
finalize the Nabucco project. Tabloid Aksam says that the US is
"disturbed by the deal" with Iran. Writing in the business daily
Referans analyst Erdal Saglam says that the deal will "strengthen
Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU." Also in Referans,
analyst Faruk Demir writes that the US "cannot ignore the role of
the deal in ensuring global energy security" and while the US is
working on different scenarios for coping with the Iranian risk,
"Iran is the only alternative to balance Russia on petroleum and
natural gas issues."
Ferai Tinc says in the mainstream Hurriyet: "Even though the
natural gas deal seems like an important step on energy, it is far
too early to talk about breaking the Russian monopoly. Most
important of all, the signed deal between Turkey and Iran is only a
Memorandum of Understanding. In the history of the energy sector
there are many unrealized documents like this. Iran is in urgent
need of energy infrastructure investments especially at this time of
growing pressure due to the nuclear crisis. Thus any
infrastructural investment by Turkey in the Iranian energy sector is
very important for Tehran. But this effort, even though Ankara
believes that the deal does not violate sanctions, may pose a
conflict vis-`-vis the UN resolutions. The details of this energy
project will be worked out in the months to come -- after the
Turkish elections. Even if the technical details are worked out,
the construction of a natural gas pipeline is another big question
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mark. It is better to not to draw any hasty conclusions. As for
the announcement of this deal as a 'finalized energy deal with
Iran,' it only seems like election propaganda."
Editorial Opinion on US Efforts Against the PKK
Semih Idiz comments in the mainstream Milliyet: "The US is keeping a
close watch on the possibility of a Turkish cross border operation.
I think it would serve US interests if the US, instead of watching
Turkish military activity at the Iraqi border, exerted its energy
watching the PKK more closely and passed target-oriented information
to the Turkish military. By doing that, the US would show its good
intentions in support of its ally against the common threat. And
also such an effort would be able to prevent an undesired cross
border operation by the Turkish military. It would equally help the
US counter the accusations about direct or indirect help to the PKK.
Washington acts in a hard-to-understand manner on this issue which
causes the production of anti-American scenarios. In a country
where anti-Americanism is at a peak, the best course would be
concrete action rather than public relation efforts."
(NTV, 6 A.M.)
Concussion bombs placed in front of AKP and MHP election offices in
Buca town of Izmir exploded with 10 minutes intervals yesterday
causing material damage
Forest fires rage in Milas, Bodrum and Alanya. Houses and hotels
have been evacuated in the area.
FM Gul denied allegations to the effect that Istanbul metropolitan
municipality gave a billboard renewal tender worth 5 million Turkish
Lira to his father's company.
A car bomb exploded near a busy shopping square in central Baghdad
on Sunday killing at least 10 people
A new bin Laden video praises martyrdom as a weapon and a path to
glory for Muslims.