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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2007

In Today's Papers

Erdogan Turns Down US Suggestion to Cut Energy Ties with Iran
All papers report Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns called on
Turkey and other countries during a visit to Ankara on Wednesday to
"sacrifice" their business ties with Iran to help prevent Tehran
from advancing its nuclear program. Burns also said the US was
working for a peaceful solution with Iran. Leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet says the US promised to extend support to Turkey in
energy matters in Iraq and Central Asia if Turkey agrees to scrap
its natural gas deal with Iran. Ankara has met the offer with
reservations and asked the US to put the offer in writing.

Turkey cannot end its natural gas cooperation with Iran, Prime
Minister Erdogan said on Thursday. "Turkey is generating 52 percent
of its electricity from natural gas and it is out of the question
for us to cut our ties with these countries," Erdogan told a news
conference. "No country can make such a demand of us. And the US
did not make such a demand."

When reminded that Burns "warned" Turkey against a cross border
incursion into northern Iraq and urged Turkey to tackle the terror
issue through "political dialogue with Iraqi leaders," Erdogan said
"There's no such thing as 'Iraqi leaders.' Iraq has a central
government with a president and prime minister. We do not accept
any other leader or authority. We held talks with both President
Talabani and Prime Minister al-Maliki, who told us they share the
same views with us regarding terrorism." Erdogan noted the Iraqi
interior minister would be visiting Turkey next week regarding the
trilateral mechanism against terror.

Papers also report that following the statements of Erdogan, State
Department Spokesman Tom Casey said, "One of the things we're
looking to is our partners around the world, including Turkey, to
help convince Iran to comply with the UN Security Council
requirements, including that they suspend their nuclear activities.
We certainly think it would be helpful to have the support of all
countries in that effort and Turkey's no exception to that," Casey
was quoted as saying.

Erdogan Briefs Press on His Upcoming Contacts in US
All papers report on Thursday, Prime Minister Erdogan told a news
conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before flying to the US for
the annual gathering of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that he would
address UNGA September 28 and hold a series of bilateral talks with
his counterparts from 25 countries. "I will participate in a
meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations and a panel discussion
to be held under the Clinton Global Initiative on 'Building a
Multi-ethnic Global Society.' I will meet executives of the leading
US companies over a dinner to be hosted by Coca-Cola. Our talks
with business circles will continue at the New York Stock Exchange.
I will also meet representatives of Turkish associations and Turkish
citizens in New York," Erdogan said. In his contacts in the US,
Erdogan will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren,
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and State Minister Mehmet Simsek as
well as AKP deputy chairwoman Edibe Sozen. Erdogan is expected to
return to Turkey on September 29.

Mainstream Vatan says Erdogan will lobby other leaders on behalf of
Turkey's bid to become a temporary member of the UN Security Council
when he attends the UNGA. He is due to meet 10 presidents, 30 prime
ministers and 50 foreign ministers in New York. A commentary in
Radikal says Erdogan's office and Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA)
have pressed hard to see a meeting between Bush and Erdogan in
Washington, but it did not happen due to the tight schedule of the
President.

Editorial Commentary on Erdogan's Visit to the US
Murat Yetkin observes from Washington in the liberal-intellectual
daily Radikal: "PM Minister started his US trip in Washington

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although he has no scheduled official meetings. It seems the
Washington trip will be reduced to showing tenderness and affection
to his new grandson. In fact PM Erdogan really wanted to have a
meeting with President Bush. The Turkish side, both in the Prime
Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, expressed willingness to arrange
a meeting at the White House. They even offered an alternate: if a
meeting in Washington is not possible, there should at least be a
short meeting at the UN. Yet no meeting has been set. Nowadays,
Turkish officials are trying to console themselves by saying there
will eventually be an official trip to Washington sometime in the
next months. American sources say this [not scheduling an
appointment with Erdogan] is due to the heavy agenda of President
Bush. In this respect one wonders how he could have made some
exceptions for Talabani last year. The fact of the matter is that
President Bush probably does not have anything new to say vis-`-vis
Turkey's expectations on the PKK. Regarding the other expectation,
the Armenian Resolution issue, President Bush probably thinks that
it can be prevented even at the last minute through a White House
letter. In any case, the US capital is examining the new political
process in Ankara in the post-Sezer period. As everyone knows,
former president Sezer was not an outgoing leader, thus the
bilateral relations between US and Turkey were handled through PM
Erdogan. The picture has changed with Gul's presidency as he comes
with a deep knowledge of foreign and domestic policy issues. The
US administration, especially at the decision-making level, wonders
who Bush's counterpart will " -- PM Erdogan or President Gul? This
is not about whether Bush will see Erdogan or not. They will have a
bilateral meeting and most likely PM Erdogan will be the first
official guest to the White House after the elections. The issue is
somehow broader. Americans wonder who the boss of Turkish foreign
policy is. My answer to this question is PM Erdogan. But Americans
are still searching for the answer. And they really want to be sure
of the right answer especially in light of the upcoming Iran issue."


Trial of DTP Deputy Aysel Tugluk to Continue
Sabah, Radikal, Milliyet and others: Istanbul 13th heavy penal
court decided to continue the case against DTP Diyarbakir deputy
Aysel Tugluk, although as a member of parliament she has immunity.
Tugluk is charged with spreading PKK propaganda, in line with
article 14 of the constitution.

Intensified Military Operation in the Southeast against the PKK
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, Sabah, Vatan and others: Papers
report that the Turkish military intensified the security operations
in the rural areas of Sirnak, Hakkari and Siirt. Mainstream
Milliyet reports that 40 terrorists were surrounded in Kato
Mountains and, according to reports heard on the terrorists'
wireless communication devices, it is believed that 10 terrorists
were killed during the clashes.

TV Highlights
NTV, 7.00 A.M.

Domestic News

- President Abdullah Gul yesterday called on the Chief of the
Turkish General Staff General Yasar Buyukanit to return a courtesy
call the General had made earlier this month.

- On Wednesday, the Turkish government accepted bids from 14
companies for the construction of a 76-km stretch of the
Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway which will connect Turkey to Georgia and
Azerbaijan. The railway is due for completion in 2009.

- Turkey's Energy Ministry is to present to the cabinet a 15 percent
power price hike for residences and a 7.5 percent for industry next
week. Analysts say a price hike would have a gradual negative
impact on inflation.


ANKARA 00002388 003 OF 003


International News

- Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said Turkey and Greece
should use the new atmosphere after the elections in the two
countries to handle bilateral problems.

- A UNDP survey shows 86 percent of the Greek Cypriots and 72
percent of the Turkish Cypriots have no contacts with people from
the other side of the divided island.

- Kemal Kerkuki, deputy speaker of the regional Kurdish parliament
in northern Iraq, said that according to the constitution only
residents registered in Kirkuk before 1957 would be allowed to
participate in the referendum on the future of Kirkuk.

- Israeli dozers killed a 17-year old Palestinian boy in Gaza, one
day after Israel declared the Hamas-controlled territory an "enemy
entity."

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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