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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007

In Today's Papers

Gul Expected to Become President in Tuesday's Voting in Parliament
All papers report Abdullah Gul will be sworn in as soon as he is
elected president on the third round of voting in the parliament
tomorrow, August 28. Prime Minister Erdogan is expected to submit
the new cabinet list to the new president on August 31, the same day
on which the AKP will announce its government program. On September
3 the government program will be debated in the parliament, and the
vote of confidence will be held on September 5 at the earliest. The
parliament will go into recess by October 1.

Mainstream Milliyet reports a survey conducted by Konda polling
company shows that following the July 22 general elections, the AKP
has increased its support to 54.1 percent (up from 47 percent)
while support for the main opposition party CHP has fallen to 18.9
percent (down from 21 percent). According to the survey, 18.3
percent of voters say Gul's blocked presidency affected their voting
preference in the general election whereas 76.6 percent say the
economic situation was influential in their decision.

Maliki Accuses Turkey of Shelling Northern Iraq
Milliyet, Cumhuriyet: Mainstream Milliyet reports that, Iraqi PM
Nouri al-Maliki, at a press conference on Saturday claimed that
Turkey and Iran were shelling Northern Iraq. Maliki was quoted as
saying "Shelling Iraq is violation of its sovereignty. We will not
allow these violations to continue. This issue should be resolved
through diplomatic means." Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports
that the Regional Kurdish Administration Parliament announced on the
Kurdistan Patriotic Union's website that it will convene
extraordinarily next Tuesday to discuss the shelling by Iran and
Turkey in Kurdistan border region in Iraq. According to Kurdish
Parliament sources, the parliament and government is planning to
give a diplomatic note to Turkey and Iran to stop shelling.

More Missing US Weapons on PKK Terrorists
Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak and Zaman reported that new evidence
was found strengthening claims to the effect that PKK were using the
missing US weapons in Turkey. After finding the US made M-16s on 6
PKK terrorists who were killed in Tunceli on August 2, another M-16
rifle was found on 10 PKK terrorists who were killed in Sirnak by
Turkish security forces during operations. Two Turkish soldiers
were killed during these operations and their funerals were held in
Mersin and Gaziantep on Saturday.

US Withdrawing its "Collaborators" from Iraq
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet Saturday reported that the US is
giving immigrant status to 700 Iraqis out of the 4,000 who took
refuge in Turkey. To discuss the issue, Washington sent Assistant
Secretary of State responsible for immigrant issues Ellen Sauerbrey

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to Ankara. Seven hundred Iraqi refugees will be taken to the US
soon by planes the US administration will supply. Reportedly, the
US will also give immigrant status to widows with children, children
without any families, aged and sick people and members of some
ethnic and religious groups. Cumhuriyet says that Sauerbrey will go
to Jordan after Turkey to give the Iraqi "collaborators" who took
refuge in Jordan immigrant status.

Editorial Commentary on Turkey-Iraq Relations
Ferai Tinc writes in the mainstream daily Hurriyet: "First of all,
Turkey should not expect anything from Iraqi PM Maliki's promises
regarding the PKK. Maliki is having serious difficulties at the
moment -- not only reactions from the US against him such as those
from Senators Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin, but also the latest
reports by American intelligent services indicating that Maliki's
future is very uncertain. There is an emphasis on his failure to
form a national consensus. It seems the general tendency is to hold
Maliki responsible for every problem related to Iraq. In fact given
the current situation, no government in Iraq is capable of
controlling anything any longer. Even Iraqi intelligence services

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are hiding information from each other. The issue is the US
administration's attitude toward Iraq. The fact of the matter is
that the PKK presence in Northern Iraq is primarily the
responsibility of the US. And the American administration is also
responsible for the failure of the Maliki government to cope with
this problem. Whatever the views of third parties, including
Turkey, are, they will be void unless the issue of US responsibility
is properly and clearly addressed."

Peres Calls Erdogan on ADL Accepting Armenian Genocide
Islamist-oriented Zaman cites the Israeli Ha'aretz as reporting
President Shimon Peres assured Prime Minister Erdogan last week that
Israel had not changed its position with regard to the mass killing
of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces during World War I.

President Peres told Erdogan that Israel does not control Jewish
organizations in the US, which pursue their own agendas. On
Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced it considered
the killings to be genocide; ADL National Director Abraham Foxman,
however, apologized for putting the Turkish people in a "difficult
position" in a letter this weekend, according to Turkish media.

Soli Ozel comments in the mainstream daily Sabah: "One thing is
getting more obvious every passing day: Turkey is doomed to
experience dilemmas until it manages to resolve its primary domestic
issues and until it shows a cool attitude regarding its recent
history. Turkey is used to invoking its 'strategic importance' each
time it faces troubles from outside, which only helps to create an
impression of weakness. Recent developments clearly indicate that
Turkey has failed to have its official thesis and arguments
recognized by the outside world. Figuratively speaking Turkey has
lost the match vis-`-vis world public opinion. An Armenian Genocide
Resolution will likely be passed in the US Congress by the end of
2008. US domestic political considerations will prevail when such a
resolution is considered in Congress. The elected president of the
House certainly feels obliged to pass a resolution for the strong
Armenian lobby in California. In sum, Turkey has become a part of
the American internal political game. Turkey's policy on this issue
after so many years has just collapsed. This may be the obvious
price of not opening a border gate with Armenia. Turkey must take
steps to open itself up and stop allowing itself to be a blackmail
victim."

EU: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate should be Free to Use 'Ecumenical'
Title
All papers report European Commission Expansion Commissioner Olli
Rehn said, in response to a motion submitted by a Greek MEP, that
the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul and Patriarch
Bartholomew I should be allowed to use the title "ecumenical"
freely. Rehn also said Turkey must respect the freedom and rights
of non-Muslim religious communities. He added the European
Commission was closely watching Turkey with regard to religious
freedom according to the conditions and priorities set in the
partnership document.

TV News:
(NTV, 6 A.M.)
Domestic News

- The Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group (ICG)
said the headscarf of Abdullah Gul's wife should not be seen as a
problem.

- Kurdish DTP acting chairwoman Selma Irmak said the presence of her
party in the parliament was "a gift for democracy."

- Turkish Central Bank predicts temporary increase in inflation in
August.

International News

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- The death toll in Greece's forest fires reached 62 over the past
three days as international assistance arrived in the country.

- Iraq's top Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders announced Sunday they
had reached consensus on some key laws vital to fostering national
reconciliation.

- The Israeli daily Ha'aretz reports President Peres assured the
Prime Minister Erdogan that Israel has not changed its position on
Armenian genocide issue.

- Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Filipe Marques Amado said the EU
cannot solve the Cyprus problem.

MCELDOWNEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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