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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
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2007


In Today's Papers

Anti-Terror Supreme Board Gives Nod to Cross-Border Operation
All papers give extensive front page coverage to funerals for the 15
soldiers killed by the PKK, demonstrations against terrorism held at
many universities, and the decisions of the Supreme Anti-terror
Board. A statement issued after the Board meeting said that
necessary instructions were given to all relevant institutions and
organizations to take all legal, political and economic measures,
including cross-border operation, to put an end to the presence of
the terrorist organization in a neighboring country. Mainstream
Milliyet reports that PM Erdogan, at the AKP Central Administrative
Board meeting said that the government has started preparations to
get authorization from the parliament for a cross-border operation.
High-level AKP members told the paper that there is great
possibility that after long holiday weekend coming up, the motion
asking authorization would come to parliament. Defense Minister
Gonul told the journalists that for a cross-border operation an
authorization motion is required however, for hot pursuit, it is not
necessary, adds the paper.

Following the Supreme Anti-terror Board meeting, US Ambassador Ross
Wilson was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Under
Secretary Apakan underlined Turkey's determination to take all kinds

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of measures. Sabah, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and others quoted US State
Department Spokesman Sean McCormack as saying "If there is a
problem, Turkey and Iraq should cooperate to resolve it. I am not
sure that a cross-border operation will lead to a long-term, lasting
solution." US Assistant Secretary of State for European and
Eurasian Affairs Dan Fried said on the issue that the US has a lot
to do to end PKK terrorism, such as pressuring the Kurdish regional
administration and the relevant officials in Baghdad. White House
spokesperson Dana Perino was quoted in Vatan and Aksam as saying
"Turkish plans for a cross-border operation into Northern Iraq are
premature".

Meanwhile, many universities across Turkey issued protest messages
and held marches to denounce PKK terrorism.

Commentary: PKK terror/Iraq/US
Erdal Safak writes in the mainstream daily Sabah: "Let's hope that
both the US as well as Talabani and Barzani realize that Turkey has
really come to the point where patience has run out. We cannot
afford to waste any more time on US stalling tactics like those of
the last two years. During this period we have seen nothing more
than promises. When PM Erdogan had a meeting with President Bush
twenty months ago, he said that Bush seemed very determined to fight
against the PKK. That led to the coordination mechanism against the
PKK. Today there is no trace of coordinators, but the presence of
PKK in northern Iraq has become even stronger than before. They
have better weapons -- thanks to the missing American weapons. And
they have better financial resources --thanks to the cash flowing
from Europe. Iraqi Kurdish leaders and the US administration should
take the current picture as a final warning from Turkey and should
take measures accordingly, before it is too late."

"Not Across the Border, Across the Atlantic Ocean"
Turan Alkan writes in the Islamist-leaning daily Zaman: "The US
pursued a policy of negligence and showed reluctance to engage in
active cooperation with Turkey against terrorism. Turkey on the
other hand is having a problem because it did not take a clear
stance with the US on this issue so far. Frankly speaking Turkey
has lost its chance to finish off PKK terror through military means.
It was also very unfortunate that the DTP, in its parliamentary
representation, showed reluctance to act moderately. The US and
Turkey are in a struggle at the moment and the PKK issue is just the
visible part of it. We have to accept the fact that the US is our
genuine interlocutor on the PKK issue which has connections to both
the EU and the US. "Cross-border operation" has become such a
frequently used term, it has lost its credibility. If we have to

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talk about an operation, we should call it a "Cross-Atlantic
operation." The AKP government should take up this issue with its
sensitivities but act with determination. It should also free
itself from clichs and the usual rhetorical approaches."

Armenian Genocide Resolution in Congress
All papers report that today the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US
House of Representatives will debate the Armenian genocide
resolution. As a last attempt to lobby against it, President Gul
sent a letter to US President Bush saying that if the resolution is
adopted it would cause problems in relations. TGS Chief General
Buyukanit also sent a letter to his counterpart General Mullen and
conveyed the same message. Mainstream Sabah reports that the
Turkish Jewish Association took out adds in the Washington Post and
the Washington Times today calling on Congress to "leave the job to
historians"

Special Envoy Ralston's Resignation
Mainstream Sabah reports that US State Department Spokesman
McCormack confirmed the resignation of counterterrorism special
envoy retired General Joseph Ralston and added that he resigned due
to personal reasons.

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Haluk Koc and Gulsun Bilgehan, leading representatives of the
opposition in CHP, met on Monday to discuss the possibility of
joining forces before the party convention

- High school student Ridvan Dogan has been given two-year prison
sentence for sending an intimidating e-mail message to Agos daily
after the killing of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. His sentence
has been suspended.

- DTP deputy Ahmet Turk said military measures cannot help solve the
problem of terror, and issued a call for initiating dialogue to end
fighting.

- CHP leader Deniz Baykal urged voters to boycott the referendum on
October 21


International News

- Armenian Foreign Minister Vartar Oskanian said the acceptance of
Armenian genocide claims can help Turkey face its past

- Two suicide attacks by car bombs killed 22 people in Northern Iraq
on Tuesday

- The possible division of Jerusalem will be discussed during the
Middle East peace conference scheduled for late November


WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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