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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
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2007


In Today's Papers

General Buyukanit Calls on President Gul
All papers report Chief of the Turkish General Staff General Yasar
Buyukanit has paid a visit to the newly elected President Abdullah
Gul to offer his congratulations. Yesterday's gathering was their
first private meeting since the former foreign minister was elected
president by parliament on August 28. In moves viewed as snubs to
Gul, Buyukanit and the army commanders had not participated in any
of the receptions the newly elected president has hosted.

President Gul to Tour East, Southeast Turkey
Papers report that on Tuesday, President Abdullah Gul is to travel
to the eastern province of Van on his first domestic visit. Gul
will move on from Van to the mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces
of Hakkari, Sirnak, Siirt and Diyarbakir where he will meet with
local authorities as well as NGOs and human rights activists. The
President will also meet with the pro-Kurdish DTP mayors to seek
ways to resolve social and economic problems in the region.

Paper: US Meeting with PKK in Northern Iraq
Vatan, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and Yeni Safak carry a Daily Telegraph
story which claims "US military helicopters are reportedly used to
shuttle officers to regular meetings with PKK terrorists in Kandil
Mountains." The story by DT correspondent Daimen McElroy claims the
US extends covert support to the PKK that attacks Iranian
infrastructure and troops. A leading member of the PKK, Murat
Karayilan, is quoted as saying "We told the Iranians who wanted us
to attack Americans that the US and Britain were going to solve the
Kurdish problem and we will be with them." Karayilan also
complained that the US has done too little for the Kurds. The story
also says US helicopters reportedly carry the PKK militants to
support PJAK in its fight against Iran.

Petraeus-Crocker Hearings on Iraq
All papers report General David Petraeus and the US Ambassador to
Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, began two days of hearings on Capitol Hill
discussing the White House's Iraq strategy. They delivered to
Congress a long-awaited report on the state of the war in Iraq, in
which Petraeus said 2,000 troops would be pulled back by the end of
this month and as many as 30,000 would be gradually withdrawn by
July 2008. Ambassador Crocker underlined the importance for Iraq of
developing good ties with its neighbors, and pointed to the Iraq's
neighbors' meeting to be held in October in Istanbul. Crocker also
said Syria allowed terrorist infiltrations into Iraq and accused the
Iranian government of its damaging role in Iraq, say papers.

Turkish - Syrian Foreign Ministers Meet to Discuss Israeli Warplane
Incident
All papers report that Syrian FM Muallim arrived in Turkey following
the Israeli plane violation of Syrian airspace. Muallim met with
President Gul, PM Erdogan and FM Babacan. In a joint press
conference with Babacan, Muallim said that they exchanged views over
issues concerning security of the two countries, stability of the
region, and the recent developments in Iraq. Muallim criticized
Israel for the hostile act and added that Syria is aware of the fact
that Turkey will never use its own territory for hostile acts
against Syria. FM Babacan said that Turkey requested an explanation
from Israel regarding aircraft which violated Syrian and Turkish
airspace. "All countries in the region must avoid acts that may
lead to tension, and these developments are unacceptable," added
Babacan.

US Base at Iranian Border
Yeni Safak, Zaman and Cumhuriyet cited the internet site of the Wall
Street Journal in reporting that the Pentagon is preparing to build
a military base near the Iran-Iraq border to try to curtail the flow
of advanced Iranian weapons to Shiite militants in Iraq.

Investigation into Missing US Weapons

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Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reported that to investigate the
missing US weapons, the Pentagon, sent an 18-member delegation led
by retired general Claude Kicklighter, to Iraq. Reportedly,
Kicklighter will stay in Iraq until he concludes the investigation
and will stop in Ankara to meet with Turkish officials before he
submits his report to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Patriarch Bartholomew I to Receive EU Human Rights Award
Sabah and Milliyet report the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I
is among the candidates for the European Union's human rights award
for 2007. A shortlist of three candidates will be drawn up by the
European Parliament's foreign affairs and development committees
September 24, and the winner will be picked by the leaders of the
assembly's political groups in October.

Editorial Commentary on 9/11 Anniversary
Ali Bulac writes in the Islamist-leaning Zaman: "As time passes, we
see some new information about the events of September 11 which
increasingly indicates that it was not an ordinary terror incident;
instead some 'deep state' elements were involved. There has been
lots of speculation about who carried out the attacks, mostly
pointing to Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. For some, the covert figures in
America were behind it, while some argued that al-Qaeda was only
used as a contractor. There will be even more speculation. The
fact of the matter is that we will never be clear about who indeed
carried out the attacks. Thus it is better to talk about the
results instead of focusing on who did it."

Yusuf Kaplan writes in the Islamist-leaning Yeni Safak: "When
President Bush described the 9/11 attacks as 'an attack against our
lifestyles' he had the answer in his head: Muslim terrorists. By
using the twin towers attack, the US has created an excuse to attack
the Muslim world and Islam. There has been a fight against Islam
since it was considered a global enemy right after the demise of
communism. America did not want Muslim societies to gain
independence which would be the end of exploiting natural resources
as well as the end of American collaboration with dictators.
Eventually, we will learn the truth behind the 9/11 attacks -- when
the ongoing fight against terrorism story comes to an end one way or
the other."

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

- Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said the second expanded meeting of
Iraq's neighbors will be held on October 31-November 1 in Istanbul.


- The Islamist-nationalist BBP leader Muhsin Yazicioglu said the
pro-Kurdish DTP should be closed down if the party members continue
calling terrorists "brothers."

- The Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB) President Rifat
Hisarciklioglu said Turkey needs annual growth of 7.5 percent to
solve the problem of unemployment.

- More than 60 academic papers by 15 physicists from four Turkish
universities containing apparently plagiarized work have been
removed from the popular preprint server arXiv, where many
physicists post their work before publication.

International News

- The northern Iraqi Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) website reports
the Iraqi Parliament has decided to postpone a referendum with
regard to the future of Kirkuk to May 2008.

- German Chancellor Merkel has expressed backing to the proposal of

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French President Sarkozy for the establishment of a committee of
wise men to discuss the future of accession talks with the EU.

- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was deported to
Saudi Arabia after being arrested by police on his arrival at
Islamabad yesterday.

- European Parliament has adopted a report confirming that July 22
elections in Turkey met European standards.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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