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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2007


In Today's Papers

Erdogan's New Government Wins Confidence Vote
All papers report Prime Minister Erdogan's new cabinet won a vote of
confidence in parliament on Wednesday with 337 lawmakers voting for
the government and 197 against. "Our principle will be not to
discriminate against any of our citizens and to spread justice to
all regions," Erdogan told deputies after the vote. Parliament now
goes into recess until October 1.

President Gul Hosts State Reception
All papers report President Abdullah Gul hosted a state reception in
the presidential palace Wednesday with the participation of cabinet
ministers, members of parliament, and top judiciary officials as
well as foreign mission chiefs. The military top brass and
opposition CHP did not attend. The military was represented by
General Erdal Ceylanoglu, the officer in command of the tanks that
hit the streets in Sincan, Ankara in 1997, when the military ousted
the government led by Islamist Necmettin Erbakan. Some papers
comment the attendance of Ceylanoglu was a message to the AKP
government.

Meanwhile, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports that during a call
on Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan on Wednesday, President Abdullah
Gul denied press reports claiming he would visit the US this year.
Gul reportedly said he would travel to the US next year to attend
the UN meeting which will discuss Turkey's temporary membership in
the UN Security Council.

Turkish-British Foreign Ministers Meet
All papers report Foreign Minister and Turkey's chief EU negotiator
Ali Babacan met yesterday with visiting British Foreign Secretary
David Miliband. Miliband informed Babacan on the security situation
and latest developments in Iraq, and promised continued support for
Ankara's EU membership drive. Miliband said Turkey's EU accession
was important especially in areas like energy and security. He also
stressed that the victory of democracy in the recent political
crisis in Turkey made the country much stronger, say papers.

Peres Receives Turkish-Israeli-Palestinian Businessmen
Hurriyet, Sabah, Radikal and Zaman report Israeli President Shimon
Peres received Wednesday the members of a
Turkish-Israeli-Palestinian business gathering "Ankara Forum."
Rifat Hisarciklioglu, whose Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB) heads
the Forum, said "When we had the first meeting in Ankara
two-and-a-half years ago, we couldn't convince Israeli and
Palestinian businessmen to even to get on the same van."
The sixth meeting of the forum on Tuesday agreed on plans to
establish a joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial park in the West
Bank and a permanent office in East Jerusalem.
Forum representatives also met with the former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, now the Quartet's special envoy in the Middle
East, in Jerusalem where Blair was visiting as part of a 10-day
Middle East tour. Blair praised the initiative and offered help if
needed, say papers. The Ankara Forum's primary objective is to
foster economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian
Authority, such as the 2006 transformation of the Erez Industrial
Park into a Palestinian industrial free zone.

Al-Qaeda Operation in Germany
Sabah, Hurriyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet and others: Papers
report that three people - one of them a Turk -- were arrested in
Germany during a security operation. Mainstream Milliyet says that
German police has been following the three suspects for all of last
year after spotting them watching the US Ramstein base closely.
Reportedly, the two German and one Turkish suspects have had
training in a terrorist camp in Pakistan and police found 730 kg of
hydrogen peroxide in 12 cans in the houses of the suspects. Reports
say they were planning to attack Ramstein base and Frankfurt
airport.

ANKARA 00002290 002 OF 003

Barzani on Alleged Shelling by Iran and Turkey
Zaman, Cumhuriyet, Hurriyet, Sabah and others: During his speech at
the Kurdish Parliament Iraqi Kurdish leader Mesud Barzani criticized
Iran's shelling of Northern Iraq and said "In the area shelled by
Iran there were no PKK or PJAK members. Turkey, Iran or any other
country should not think that Iraq doesn't have any support."
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports that Barzani stressed that Kurds
won't be able to resolve the Kurdish issue in Turkey and Iran
through violence and reiterated that the Kurds won't give up their
rights, but the problems should be resolved trough dialogue not by
violence.

Editorial Commentary on Iraq
Soli Ozel writes in the mainstream Sabah: "The presence of British
forces in Iraq after the reduction seems like symbolic support for
the US troops - just so they will not feel alone. The US, on the
other hand, is heading toward facing the truth after having an
additional 30,000 troops added to its presence. There is credible
information that the upcoming report by General Petraeus on Iraq
will not be positive. Nevertheless the US troops managed to ensure
security at least in certain areas by cooperating with Sunni tribal
leaders. Yet the other side of the truth is that there is ethnic
cleansing in certain areas also. Given the current circumstances,
the Iraq situation, in the fifth year of war, has come back to the
point where it started. The Bush administration will not be able to
shape Iraq policy in the way it wanted in the new period to come.
Under growing domestic pressure, the withdrawal of American forces
will likely begin as the time for presidential elections gets
closer."

Yilmaz Oztuna writes in the conservative-nationalist Turkiye:
"President Bush's high praise for Iraqi President Talabani during
his surprise visit to Iraq is an indication of some American plans
to manipulate the Kurds. The US is apparently moving toward the
idea of leaving Iraq after condensing its presence down to a few
military bases. The other biggest occupation force, the UK, has
already left Basra which made the city very open for Iranian
manipulation. Iran is still dreaming of a Greater Iran, which would
include Southern Iraq in its territory. The Iranian army is active
and engaged in the north and the eastern part of Iraq and even
managed to spread its influence in the Talabani-controlled areas.
We don't know what really happened to the Greater Middle East
Project -- Ms. Rice used to be very keen on reshaping the world map
in this region. In fact the boundaries were shaped by the UK at
that time but mistakenly. The US was very keen on the correction
through Pax Americana, but there seems to be no talk about it any
longer. Given Iran's intentions for expansion, the new period will
definitely focus on the borders and states."

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Police in the eastern province of Van seized 947 kg of hashish
which belongs to a PKK member known with the code name Mahir.

- The deans of Turkey's law faculties are angered at being excluded
from the preparation work of the new constitution. The Istanbul Bar
of Lawyers accused the AKP for carrying out constitutional reforms
merely to solve its own problems.

- The Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) said in a report 25
people have been tortured or abused at Beyoglu police station in the
heart of Istanbul since the beginning of the year. A Nigerian
refugee, Festus Okey, died while in custody in the same police
station.

- Anders Lindblad, Ericsson's General Director in charge of Turkey

ANKARA 00002290 003 OF 003


and Israel, said Ericsson's 3rd IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) center
in the world would be founded in Turkey.

International News

- Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders Papadopoulos and Talat met in
the presence of UN Secretary-General's Special Cyprus Envoy Michael
Moller in the buffer zone Wednesday, without making progress in
re-launching stalled peace talks. The two leaders have reportedly
agreed to meet again in the coming days to move forward toward
comprehensive negotiations. No major breakthrough was expected in
yesterday's meeting because of the Greek Cypriot elections in
February.

- EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini said more
EU-wide anti-terror measures were needed because the threat of
terrorism in the 27-nation bloc remains high.

- Former head of Rusneft, Mikhail Gutseriev, wanted in an
international search, has allegedly been discovered in Turkey.

- Iran hanged 21 men Wednesday in the latest round of group
executions over the past few months.


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