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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6041
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RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
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RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002002

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2007

In Today's Papers

Speculation on Presidency Continues
All papers report CHP leader Deniz Baykal called on the AKP to
nominate a presidential candidate who would be approved by all
parties, warning that otherwise the Turkish people could be
distressed again. Islamist-oriented Zaman criticizes Baykal for
displaying no change in attitude since the presidential crisis in
April. Mainstream Vatan reports MHP sources as claiming Gul will
announce Monday his withdrawal from the race, the sources stressing
that the AKP does not want fresh tensions with the military. The
paper says Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul is the AKP candidate for the
top job. Mainstream Hurriyet quotes unidentified AKP sources as
saying that Gul will not become parliament speaker if he decides to
pullout of the presidential race, but will keep the post of Foreign
Minister. The Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak says in a commentary
that in their hours-long meeting on Wednesday, the AKP leaders
Erdogan, Bulent Arinc, and Gul have decided to follow the "Omerta"
rule and will not talk to the press on the matter.

CHP Report Blames All but the Party for Election Defeat
All papers report CHP has refrained from self-criticism in a report
evaluating the results of the July 22 elections. The report says
the AKP victory in the elections came about because of the support
of the EU and the US for the AKP, religious sects and imams as well
as the "bribes" offered to voters by AKP municipalities. Those who
want a "second republic" in Turkey are very influential in the media
and they have influenced the public with their brainwashing efforts,
the CHP report says. It claims religious sects, which are gaining
ground in Turkish state institutions, business life, education and
media, supported the AKP. It says in eastern and southeastern
Turkey, the AKP deceived voters with confusing messages on the fight
against terror. The AKP has also not hesitated to exploit the
religious feelings of voters, according to the report.

Novak Voices Opposition to US-Turkey Action against the PKK
All papers report The Washington Post columnist Robert Novak
confirmed at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday that the
information featured in his recent column about a "secret" Capitol
Hill briefing on possible US-Turkey joint operations against the PKK
came from a Congressman who was against the idea. Novak reportedly
said "the Congressman and I are happy if we helped prevent it; this
operation had no relation to US security." Papers report when asked
if he realized this had angered the Turks, Novak said, "It depends
whose side you are on. A terrorist to some can be a freedom fighter
to others."

Editorial Commentary on Possible US-Turkey Operations against the
PKK
Hasan Mesut Hazar writes in the conservative daily Turkiye: "The
stories in the American press about a joint US-Turkish operation
against the PKK were distorted and sensationalized by the Turkish
press. First of all, taking joint steps against the PKK is not a
brand new project and the two countries have long been talking about
it. The special envoy mechanism has lead to some important
developments. However, the challenges faced by the US in Iraq are
making things even more difficult and are preventing the US from
taking fast action. However, the unfulfilled promises regarding the
fight against the PKK presence in Iraq have caused severe
disappointment in Turkey. This inaction is the main reason for
growing anti-Americanism in Turkey; and also sets a bad example in
the broader context of the global fight against terrorism. The US
has taken positive steps against the PKK, including efforts to cut
off financial links and a successful push to get both NATO and the
EU to recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization. Yet, the
essence of the problem stems from the fact that Northern Iraq is
still a shelter for terrorists and they continue their attacks on
Turkey from there. Eventually, this issue will be solved and drop
from the Turkish-American agenda because a solution not only serves
Turkish and American interests, it enhances both regional and world

ANKARA 00002002 002 OF 002


peace. During this process, Turkey has to revise its policy, be
cool and be realistic. Turkey can't turn its back on Iraqi Kurds,
and it must not be carried away by provocative nationalist
sentiments."

Mustafa Balbay writes in the nationalist-leftist daily Cumhuriyet:
"The recent story about a secret operation by the US against the PKK
is a comedy because the US reportedly is very upset following the
leak of this plan to the press. Are we supposed to believe that
such secret plans to fight terrorism are presented to Congress
before taking action? The fact of the matter is that the US cannot
take any action anywhere in Iraq that might upset the Iraqi Kurds.
What we see today is a game played by the US: Trying to be nice to
Kurds while also trying to make it look to Turks as if the US is
really fighting against terrorism."

US-Sought Ukrainian Hacker Captured in Turkey
Milliyet, Sabah, Cumhuriyet, Radikal, Zaman and others report
Ukranian hacker Maksym Yastremsky., arrested by Turkish police near
Antalya, was on the US wanted list for crimes related to
international hacking. Reportedly, Yastremsky has so far stolen
credit card information of 50,000 to 60,000 people including 1200
Turks. Papers report the prosecutor's office and police said he had
no ties with al-Qaeda, as had previously been reported by a Turkish
media outlet. The Prosecutor's office said there is a 60-day period
for extradition under international regulation, and the Ukrainian
hacker could be handed over to the US once the investigation in
Turkey as well as international formalities have been completed.

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- Eight PKK terrorists including a woman were killed in security
operations in the eastern province of Tunceli in which three Turkish
soldiers also lost their lives.

- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, accompanied by Foreign
Minister Hoshyar Zebari and four other ministers as well as Iraq's
anti-terror envoy, will visit Turkey on August 7.

- Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision to drop charges
against Nobel laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk who was tried for
insulting Turkishness.

- Kurdish party DTP is to hold an extraordinary convention in late
August or early September to elect its new chairman.

International News

- Israel is ready to discuss "fundamental issues" leading to the
creation of a Palestinian state, Secretary Rice said after talks
with Palestinian leader Abbas.

- Russian explorers planted their national flag on the seabed deep
below the North Pole in a submersible in an effort to stake a claim
to the energy riches of the Arctic.

- The war in Iraq is costing British and American taxpayers more
than USD 4,000 a second.


MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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