Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2007
In Today's Papers
Iraq Incursion Bill to Turkish Parliament for Approval
All papers report Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek announced Monday
that the Council of Ministers decided to submit the motion for a
cross-border incursion into Iraq to the parliament for approval.
Cicek stressed that the motion targeted only the PKK, and that it
would cover a one-year period. "We hope that we will not have to
use this motion," Cicek said, adding, "Unfortunately, countless
meetings, memorandums, and agreements did not eliminate the PKK in
northern Iraq. Our allies have failed to take enough measures to
satisfy us so far. For instance, not one PKK terrorist was
extradited to Turkey." Cicek also made clear that Turkey does not
have its eye on any other country's resources. "We are not after
oil; we want the Iraqi people and the world to know that we are not
like the US, our only aim is to fight against terror." The motion
will be debated at the Turkish Parliament on October 17.
Mainstream Sabah says the motion prepared by the government
authorizes operations against the PKK camps as well as the
establishment of a buffer zone in northern Iraq. The paper expects
Turkey to kick off operations by the end of November if Ankara and
Baghdad fail to work out a formula for combating the terrorists.
The operations will be shaped according to the results of the
meeting of Iraqi neighbors in Istanbul on November 2-3 as well as
the November 6 meeting of Prime Minister Erdogan with President Bush
in the US, says the paper. Vatan, Cumhuriyet, Radikal and Milliyet
quote State Department spokesman Tom Casey as saying the US was
willing to work with Turkey to block the PKK attacks and called for
restraint, warning unilateral action would not solve the problem.
Papers report Kurdistan regional Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani as
telling Al-Jazeera that "The PKK is not a problem for Turkey alone,
it also caused us problems in the past. In our fight against this
party, we lost more than 3,500 lives. This problem requires a
political solution. We have had good relations with Turkey for 16
years. The Iraqi Kurdistan government is serious about developing
its relations with Turkey." Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports
the Iraqi Defense Ministry Spokesman Muhammad al-Askari opposed a
Turkish operation into Iraq, warning he cannot guarantee that the
Iraqi military will remain silent in the face of such an attack.
Meanwhile, television new programs reported this morning Iraqi Vice
President Tarik al-Hashimi has arrived in Ankara on Tuesday on a
"surprise visit" to meet Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Prime
Minister Erdogan. Hashimi is expected to explain the objections of
the Iraqi administration to possible Turkish operations into
Armenian Genocide Resolution in the US
All papers expect the bill on the mass killing of Armenians by
Ottoman Turkish forces in 1915-16 to be forwarded to vote in the US
House before November 16. Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports
under the headline "She Passes the Ball to Bush" that Speaker Pelosi
said in an interview with American network ABC that President Bush
had not called her about the AGR, implying that "things might have
changed if he did." Papers report that in a joint letter, Secretary
Rice and Secretary Gates have asked Pelosi not to forward the
resolution to House floor, stressing that adoption of the bill would
"restrict our capacity for logistical support of our troops and also
hurt reconciliation efforts."
Mainstream Milliyet reports President Abdullah Gul will discuss the
resolution with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Foreign Ministry
Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan and Turkish Ambassador in Washington
Nabi Sensoy at a summit meeting in the presidential palace today.
Commentary on Armenian Resolution/Northern Iraq Incursion
Taha Akyol comments in the mainstream Milliyet: "Turkey is having
problems with the Armenian lobby on one side, and PKK terrorism on
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the other. The main issue here is: Turkey should coordinate these
threats coming from two different fronts wisely, and not allow its
fight on one front to damage the other front. Instead of
challenging the world with hostile feelings, Turkey should become
integrated with the world by using wise policies."
Sahin Alpay writes in the Islamist-oriented Zaman: "Although, the
resolution approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee is not binding,
it will affect Turkey-US relations. Let's leave aside the argument
whether the 1915 incidents were a genocide or not and establish
diplomatic relations with Yerevan and open the border gates. Let's
convince Baku of this approach."
Intense Diplomatic Traffic in Turkey
All papers report the Syrian Head of State Bashar Assad will pay an
official visit to Turkey as the guest of President Gul to discuss
Iraq, Israel and Palestine, and the upcoming expanded Iraq's
neighbors' meeting in Istanbul. Assad will meet Parliament Speaker
Koksal Toptan and will address the Turkish Parliament and also hold
a join press conference with President Gul. Prime Minister Erdogan
will host a dinner in his honor. On Wednesday Assad will go to
Istanbul before he leaves Turkey on October 19.
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will visit Egypt and Lebanon from
October 17-19. In Egypt Babacan will be received by President Hosni
Mubarak and Prime Minister Ahmet Nazif. He will also meet Egyptian
Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit and Arab League Secretary General
Amr Moussa. In Lebanon Babacan will meet Prime Minister Fouad
Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Babacan will also visit
the Turkish peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon. On October
21Babacan will pay a visit to Iran.
Prime Minister Erdogan will pay an official visit to Britain on
October 22-23 and meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Cyanide Gold Mining Draws Reaction in Turkey
Mainstream Sabah reports on its front page that 11 companies, some
with international partners, have been licensed to mine gold with
cyanide in Kaz (Ida) Mountains in northwestern Turkey. Companies
will be exploring for gold in 37 spots in the region where hundreds
of centuries-old pines and beech trees have already been bulldozed.
They will be using about 400,000 ton of cyanide of which some
100,000 ton are expected to dissolve into the atmosphere. Local
villagers said cyanide will damage the ecology, stressing they will
resist the exploration work. Among the companies to dig for gold
are Ariana, Canadian Teck Cominco's partner Fronteer, Eldorado Gold,
and Rio Tinto.
- The Turkish Parliament will hold a second round of voting Tuesday
regarding the bill for constitutional reforms to be submitted to a
referendum on October 21.
- The prosecutor demands a sentence of life in prison for five
suspects charged with the murder of three Christian missionaries in
a bookstore in Malatya in eastern Turkey.
- 47 people were killed and 252 others were injured in traffic
accidents across Turkey yesterday.
- More than 25,000 workers of Turk Telekom, Turkey's biggest
fixed-line operator, have decided to go on strike after wage talks
collapsed Monday. The strike is expected to hamper phone calls and
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- Secretary Rice said Israel and Palestinian negotiators are
involved in the most serious effort in "many, many years" to try to
end the Mideast conflict.
- Russian President Putin has dismissed reports for a plot to
assassinate him in Tehran, said he'll go ahead with a planned trip
- Taliban commanders in Helmand province have sent a list of demands
to the Karzai government as part of tentative back-channel talks to
bring a peaceful end to the conflict.