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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT


TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2007

In Today's Papers

Parliamentary Election Campaign
All papers: Campaigning intensifies as the July 22 election
approaches, with party leaders holding rallies across the country
and trading verbal shots. Addressing people in the Black Sea city
of Ordu, DP leader Agar accused the ruling AKP of corruption and
said when AKP complains it is playing the victim role. Attending
his party's rally in the eastern city of Igdir, CHP leader Baykal
criticized the government's counterterrorism policies. Speaking at
MHP rally in the central-southern city of Gaziantep, Devlet Bahceli
said that when he comes to power he will have the AKP government
tried for all the irregularities. AKP leader PM Erdogan said
yesterday that his party will emerge from the elections on top.

In an election snapshot from the southeastern city of Van, tabloid
Aksam reports that the mainly Kurdish DTP is carrying out its
election campaign through independent candidates and that the voters
there have made their minds up. As for the result, the paper
predicts two possibilities for the seven seats from Van: three
independents and two each from AKP and CHP; or three independents,
three for AKP and one for CHP. In the last election AKP won six
seats in Van.

Turkey-Iran Gas Deal; US Reaction
All papers report that the United States has voiced a clear
objection to a deal signed between Turkey and Iran on energy
cooperation while reiterating that Washington is ready to continue
joint efforts which will eventually make Turkey an energy hub for
European countries. Mainstream Sabah, Milliyet and Vatan, Islamist
oriented Zaman and others quote the US Embassy spokesperson as
saying "we are against any kind of cooperation with Iran. Relying
on Iran as a source and transit country for natural gas seems
unwise." Sabah reports that, with regard to the US reaction over
the gas deal, FM Gul said 'Turkey will not listen to anyone. The
import thing is our interests." Morning TV broadcasts quoted State
Department spokesman Sean McCormack as saying "It is up to the
Turkish Government, Turkish entities to decide whether or not they
want to do business with Iran at this point in time. If you ask our
opinion, if we think it is the right moment to be making investments
in the Iranian oil and gas sector, no, we don't think so."

US Denies Giving Weapons to PKK
Sabah, Milliyet, Zaman and others: Responding to the questions from
journalists aboard AKP's election bus, FM Gul said that he received
an answer from the US that "it is not possible that the US gave
weapons to a terrorist organization; however, the weapons we
provided to the Iraqi army might be acquired by the PKK due to
financial, ethnic or ideological reasons." Gul added that "the US
administration said that they would closely follow the issue from
now on and this incident shows that the Iraqi army is not reliable."
Gul also noted that the terrorist organization might have been
doing this in order to damage relations between Turkey and the US.

Talabani Threatens to Cut Business Relations with Turkey
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reported that Iraqi leader Talabani's
party Kurdistan Patriotic Union Ankara Representative Behroz Gelali
said that in case of Turkish intervention in Northern Iraq, they
will cut business relations with the 1200 Turkish companies in Iraq
and send them back to Turkey.

Editorial Opinion: Iraq, US-Turkey Relations
Fikret Bila comments in the mainstream Milliyet: "If the allegation
about the US providing weapons to the PKK is verified, it will
undoubtedly cause Turkish-US relations to deteriorate to a
non-repairable point. But even if this allegation is proven wrong,
the main question is whether we will be able to close the case.
Simply disproving the allegation will not do any good toward
resolving the essence of the problem. A terrorist organization like

ANKARA 00001817 002 OF 002


the PKK is capable of acquiring weapons and arms through traffickers
and through the Iraqi peshmerge. This is in fact the initial
information coming from the US. Therefore Turkey should not focus
on the US-weapons-to-PKK allegation. The main issue that we should
focus on is forcing the US to change its political stance on support
[for Kurds]."

Kubilay Celik comments in the nationalist Tercuman: "The US is now
looking for ways to make its position [in Iraq] permanent and Iraq's
north seems to be the best option. Barzani has already been issuing
'invitations' for an American army presence. A military base in
Northern Iraq will not only serve American regional interests but
also it will be like an insurance policy for Barzani against a
possible cross-border operation by Turkey."


TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

Nine people have been taken into custody after staging protests and
throwing eggs at CHP leader Deniz Baykal in Erzurum.

In response to accusation of CHP with regard to his sons' assets,
Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe said that his three
sons only have 5 apartment flats, not 600.

Istanbul 2nd district independent candidate Tuncay Seyranlioglu died
in an armed attack when he came out of the wedding hall that he
owned.


International News

The UK decided to expel four Russian diplomats over Moscow's refusal
to extradite the main suspect in the murder of Alexander
Litvinenko.

Bombs killed at least 85 in Kirkuk

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan's northwest coast on Monday
killing at least 8 people, injuring hundreds and damaging a nuclear
reactor.


WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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