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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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2007

In Today's Papers

Fifteen Soldiers Killed in PKK Attacks; Cross-Border Operation Back
on the Agenda
All papers devote significant space to reporting on the deaths of 15
soldiers killed in two separate incidents in Sirnak and Diyarbakir
within 24 hours on Sunday and Monday. The Council of Ministers
convened on Monday and then President Gul, PM Erdogan and TGS Chief
General Buyukanit held a special security meeting held at the
Presidential Palace. Responding to questions after the cabinet
meeting on a possible cross-border operation, government spokesman
Cemil Cicek said "our government is determined to do whatever it
takes." The Anti-Terror Supreme Board convened today to focus on
concrete measures against the PKK as reactions against PKK terrorism
increased across the country. CHP leader Deniz Baykal denounced
terrorism and criticized the government for not having an effective
anti-terrorism policy. MHP leader Devlet Bahceli also criticized
the government and saying "launching a cross-border operation became
a legitimate option." DTP, for the first time, condemned the
attack, calling the victims "martyrs" and "our children."

Meanwhile, in a TV interview, Turkey's former special envoy for
countering terrorism retired General Edip Baser criticized the US
and EU countries for not taking necessary measures against the PKK
and said "if a country is not taking measures it can to help a
friendly country in its fight against terrorism, it means that
country is supporting terrorism and it is a terrorist state itself.
Meanwhile, all papers report that the US stance against Turkey's
launching a cross-border operation to Northern Iraq has not changed,
reporting that in an interview with CNN-Turk, US Ambassador Ross
Wilson said "our view on this issue has not changed. Security steps
can be discussed among the US, Turkey and Iraq."

Commentary: PKK terror/Iraq/US
Gungor Mengi wrote in the mainstream daily Vatan: "Turkey has failed
to emerge as a power against terrorism. The government didn't do
anything about the EU's efforts to legitimize terrorists, nor did
they give strong enough messages to the imprisoned PKK leader
[Ocalan] so that he realizes he is being held responsible for the
ongoing PKK attacks. It is ironic that now Erdogan talks about new
methods, whatever they could be at this point. The grave mistake is
that this government did not make it clear in the strongest possible
way to northern Iraqi [Kurdish] leaders that there will be a price
to pay by sheltering murderers. PM Erdogan also talks about raising
this issue with Bush, as if he, Bush, does not know about the issue
[implying the US is behind the Iraqi Kurdish leaders allowing the
terror to continue]. What we need is to unite against terrorism and
to get rid of the insecure attitude in diplomacy. We are very late
in shaping a state policy on the fight against terrorism."

Mainstream daily Milliyet carried this editorial on page one: "The
ruling AKP should formulate a new strategy to cope with terrorism
and make it a vital priority. Foreign policy is one of the most
valuable tools for the new strategy. The chieftains of the PKK have
stationed themselves in Northern Iraq with the highest protection of
Talabani and Barzani. The US, Turkey's ally, is only watching the
activities of the PKK in Northern Iraq, and is preventing Turkey
from going ahead with military action. If a country watches
terrorism and does not use its capacity to prevent it, it can only
be called an accomplice to terror. The ruling AKP failed to pursue
diplomacy to activate the US in this regard. The upcoming
Congressional Armenian genocide resolution is just about to be added
to the Northern Iraq issue. The Turkish government should take
every action to have the US feel that both inaction against the PKK
and action on the AGR will undermine US interests."

Turkey's Last-Minute Efforts to Prevent Armenian Resolution
Sabah, Milliyet, Hurriyet, Turkiye, Zaman and others: A
parliamentary delegation led by AKP Istanbul deputy Egemen Bagis
went to the US to lobby against the Armenian Genocide Resolution

ANKARA 00002501 002 OF 002


(AGR). Prior to their departure, Bagis said, "The resolution should
not be issued by the US House Foreign Relations Committee. We will
exert every effort to prevent the bill from passing. We have
several options and will decide on what to do if the bill is
adopted."

Meanwhile, US Ambassador Ross Wilson, in an interview with CNN-Turk,
said that "the US Administration and President Bush have been
exerting efforts to prevent issuance of the resolution. No matter
what the result is, it is to the benefit of both countries to
cooperate." In response to Bagis' remarks regarding Turkey cutting
off logistic support to the US in Iraq, Ambassador Wilson said if
that support were not also to the advantage of Turkey, it would not
be in place, adding "Turkey needs a successful Iraq, as well"

Abbas Invites Turkey to the Middle East Summit
Sabah, Zaman and others: During his continuing Middle East tour,
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan held meetings with Palestinian
leader Abbas yesterday. Abbas said that Palestine will continue to
hold consultations with Turkey and said that Turkey should join the
US-backed Middle East peace summit to be held in November.
Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah reported that President Gul is planning
to bring Syria's Esad, Israel's Peres and Palestine's Abbas together
in Ankara in the upcoming weeks, prior to the summit.

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

CHP leader Baykal calls for the annulment of the October 21
referendum on the presidential election procedures.

Patriarch Barthelomeos meets with top level state officials in
Ankara to highlight the sensitivity of the environmental issues

TGS Chief Buyukanit hosted the Korean Chief of General Staff


International News

Kurdish planes resume flights from Northern Iraq to Germany, but
will follow a different route to avoid Turkish airspace

President Musharraf's four body guards were killed in a helicopter
crash in Pakistan


WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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