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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2007


In Today's Papers

Claims of Israeli Airspace Incursions; Syria's Muallem Visits Ankara

All papers report over the weekend and today on the Syrian claim
that Israeli jetfighters violated Syrian airspace and the Turkish
claim that two fuel tanks from Israeli planes were found in fields
in Hatay and Gaziantep provinces on the Turkish side of its border
with Syria. On Saturday, Hurriyet carried photographs of what it
said were fuel tanks dropped by Israeli F-151s gathering
intelligence on Syrian installations near the Turkish border. The
event came late on Thursday; hours after Damascus had accused Israel
of bombing its territory. The Turkish Foreign Ministry asked Israel
for an explanation, but Israel's Foreign Ministry reportedly
declined to comment. Mainstream Vatan reports, citing the
DEBKAfile, Israeli jetfighters actually aimed to test Iranian air
defense systems in Syria as part of US preparations for an attack on
Iran.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem arrived in Ankara for
pre-planned talks with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan, Prime
Minister Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul. Cumhuriyet reports
Muallem is expected to submit evidence to Turks showing airspace
violations by the Israeli planes. Papers say Muallem may ask Turkey
to act as an intermediary between Syria and Israel. "We are ready
to defend ourselves against Israel's aggression plans, but our main
priority is still a comprehensive settlement," Muallem told
reporters at the airport on his arrival in Ankara on Sunday.

CHP Celebrates Anniversary; Opposition Faction Calls for Baykal's
Resignation
All papers report that on Sunday, CHP leader Deniz Baykal and his
party board members, joined by some 40,000 supporters, marched to
Ataturk's mausoleum to mark the 84th anniversary of the founding of
their party. An opposition faction within CHP, headed by Istanbul's
Sisli Mayor Mustafa Sarigul, backed by some 7,000, rallied on the
same day in front of the party headquarters in Ankara to demand the
resignation of Baykal. Sarigul said Baykal, who has failed in seven
elections, should hand over the party to the young generation.
Mainstream Vatan says CHP gives a picture of a party divided into
two and liberal Radikal says Baykal is leading in the race with
Sarigul.

For First Official Visit President Gul Chooses the Southeast
Milliyet, Star, Hurriyet, Vatan, Cumhuriyet and others: Papers
report that President Gul will be starting his first official visit
tomorrow, going to Van, Hakkari and Sirnak. Mainstream Hurriyet
reports that Gul will be in Sirnak on the first day of the Ramadan
and will have his iftar meal together with the soldiers of the
Gendarmerie Brigade in Sirnak. Mainstream Vatan and
leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet report that responding to a question
TGS Chief General Buyukanit said that he will not accompany the
President on his trip, instead, following the normal procedure, the
commandants of the military units in each province Gul will visit,
will host the President.

Message from Iraqi Government to its Neighbors
Yeni Safak, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal and others: The second
session of the Iraq Neighbors Conference was held in Baghdad
yesterday with the attendance of the G-8 countries, Iraq's
neighboring countries, and the five permanent members of UN Security
Council. The main issue on the agenda was security. Iraqi PM
Maliki and FM Zebari warned that the violence in Iraq could spread
to neighboring countries and urged them to actively work on
controlling the borders and prevent terrorists from infiltrating
across into Iraq. Papers report that Iraq's appeal to its neighbors
occurred on the eve of the congressional hearings in Washington on
Iraq's progress by US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and General
Petraeus.


ANKARA 00002308 002 OF 003


Death of Nigerian Citizen under Police Custody in Istanbul
Mainstream Sabah reports Saturday the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) and the Embassy of Nigeria in Turkey have requested
information from Ankara concerning the death of Nigerian citizen
Festus Okey while under police custody in Istanbul. Another
Nigerian, who was reportedly the only witness of the murder, has
been taken into protection by the Helsinki Citizens Association.
After a 20-day silence, on Saturday the Istanbul security
directorate said that Okey was accidentally killed while trying to
seize the gun of a policeman, and that cocaine was found on the
Nigerian. The incident came amid press reports of growing police
mistreatment and violence against civilians in Istanbul after the
authority of the police was expanded by the ruling AKP government.


Turkey Lobbies for Support for UNSC Seat
Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports on Sunday Turkey has secured
the support of the majority of the less developed countries for its
bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council; 128 countries
have reportedly pledged Turkey support. Cumhuriyet says Turkey has
assisted the countries in ways such as constructing a market place
in Zimbabwe and a water purification plant in Nigeria, donating 250
computers to five Caribbean countries, contributing medical
equipment worth USD 300,000 to Kyrgyzstan, and training Ghana
officials in public administration.

Editorial Commentary on 9/11 Anniversary
Ali Aslan wrote in the Islamist-leaning Zaman (9/10): "Bush,
especially in the aftermath of 9/11, believed in the need for a
crusade against terrorism and its source, Islamic fundamentalism.
He was seeking ways to topple regimes in the Muslim world and
replace them with democratic order. That approach was mainly taking
the entire world as the core of US foreign policy. When President
Bush said 'you are either with us or against us' that was not only
his sincere attitude, it was also a statement of defiance against
the whole world. Afraid of being labeled a 'supporter of
terrorism,' at first the international and American publics gave
clear support to the Afghanistan operation. Yet the events that
followed created legitimacy for interventionist policies in the
future. The Iraq war, for instance, was done with the near total
ignorance of the international community. On the anniversary of the
9/11 attacks, the international community is more focused on the
methods by the US - for instance, the many examples of disrespect
for international human rights standards, including CIA prisons, and
arrest without court cases. Even though President Bush makes a
comparison between the Cold War and the fight against terrorism, the
former was a fight against an ideology. During the Cold War era,
the US gained sympathy from the communist world with its respect for
law and democratic values. The Bush administration, however, is
losing ground everyday at home and abroad - particularly in the
Islamic world -- through its non-legitimate acts and insulting
policies."

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

- Some members of Turkey's elite business forum TUSIAD disagree with
their chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, the daughter of media
tycoon Aydin Dogan, who had claimed last week the AKP government
program does not meet TUSIAD's expectations. They say the new
government should be given at least one year to prove itself.

- Turkey's main Kurdish party DTP MP Sabahat Tuncel, visiting the
Hasankeyf culture festival in Batman, rejected an appeal from Prime
Minister Erdogan that her party condemn the PKK as a terrorist
organization. "Nobody should expect us to call our children
terrorists," said Tuncel.


ANKARA 00002308 003 OF 003


- A court in Istanbul suspended the pro-Kurdish Gundem daily for 30
days for making separatist propaganda by printing two articles in
early September by the PKK leader Murat Karayilan.

- Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan has signaled that the Turkish
government did not decide yet whether or not it would make a new
agreement with the IMF.

International News

- Ahead of EU's Turkey Progress Report to be released in November,
the EU Commission has urged Ankara to ensure the inclusion of all
political views in Turkey in the preparation of a new constitution.


- Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis said Athens supported the European
future of Turkey.

- Morocco's oldest political party Istiqlal won 52 seats in the
parliamentary elections while the Islamist Justice and Development
party or PJD gained 47 seats.

- Hunt Oil company of Texas has signed a deal with the regional
Kurdish administration to explore oil in northern Iraq.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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