Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO3067
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #2579/01 2911400
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181400Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4061
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8435
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3432
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2385
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6204
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6008
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2601
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002579

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2007

In Today's Papers

Turkish Parliament Approves Iraq Incursion Motion
All papers report the Turkish Parliament has overwhelmingly approved
a motion allowing troops to cross into northern Iraq to hunt down
the PKK terrorists based there. The resolution covering a one-year
period was approved in an open session Wednesday by a vote of 507 to
19.

Visiting Iraqi vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, is quoted in papers
as saying that Iraq must be given a chance to stop the PKK
terrorists before Turkey takes any step. Papers report President
Bush as saying yesterday such an action "would not be in Turkish
interests." "There is a better way to deal with the issue than
having the Turks send massive additional troops into Iraq." Prime
Minister Erdogan responded by saying that the important issue was
"not what others say, but the decision of the Turkish Parliament."
The head of the main opposition CHP, Deniz Baykal, voiced hope that
the US will now see that Turkey is serious, stressing he hopes there
will be no need for Turkish intervention. The Iraqi Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki called Erdogan, asking him to give Baghdad and the
Kurdish authorities in the area a new chance to eliminate the PKK
terrorists. Maliki delegated a security mission to Turkey,
according to papers. The Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, in Paris
on a visit, said "We hope that the wisdom of Prime Minister Erdogan
will prevent any military action. The Iraqi government and the
Kurdistan government are both willing to do whatever it takes to
reach an agreement among the Iraqi, Turkish, and US officials to end
this crisis." Papers note that Turkey's western allies including
the EU and US all urged Ankara to refrain from unilateral military
action.

Editorial Commentary on Turkish Iraq Incursion
Fehmi Koru writes in the Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak: "The PKK's
activities have no similarity to the ones they carried out in the
past. They take action mainly against the military and have planned
to kill as many soldiers as they can to hurt more people across
Turkey. Also, with their attacks, they are continuously provoking
the Turkish military. We can feel the fine calculations in every
action the PKK takes. If we are aware of the well-planned,
conscious terrorist act, then, our counter actions should be well
planned too. PKK terrorism, today, aims to force Turkey to take
certain actions in the international arena. Terrorism can be beaten
by isolating the terrorists. However, we are after the plans to
spread the front to a wider area. In order to deal with a small
number of terrorists in northern Iraq, we should not launch a
cross-border operation that would make all of Iraq against us. The
right act here is to isolate the PKK and then develop new tactics to
eliminate it. While doing this Turkey should adopt a stance that
would not isolate itself in the region and in the world. Turkey
should take lessons from the problems the US faces in Iraq.
Otherwise, a wrong move that deals only with PKK terrorism, could
turn Turkey into a free-zone for terrorism."

Ismail Kucukkaya writes in the tabloid Aksam: "Even though the
motion for a cross-border operation has been approved in the
parliament, I still hope that we won't be forced to use it. Now it
is time to think and act calmly. We should start by diagnosing the
problem correctly. Turkey's biggest problem has been not diagnosing
problems correctly. Sudden decisions, emotional reactions and
measures based on conjuncture, do not help us to take the correct
decision and find lasting solutions. Terrorism is a security
problem as well as a foreign policy issue. The PKK issue is
affecting our foreign policy and international relations and
cornering us. That is why I consider the motion, which is a radical
decision and a step with many risks, as an opportunity to free our
policies and change the paradigm. At this point, we need a major
and deep strategy to explain terrorism in the international arena
calmly and clearly. We should exhibit a new approach which will
allow us to take effective steps in our foreign policy. If Turkey

ANKARA 00002579 002 OF 003


manages to settle in a correct position in the global system, and
determines its international relations and foreign policy
accordingly, then, PKK terrorism will lose its purpose."

Syria's Bashar Supports Turkish Incursion into Iraq
All papers report Syrian Head of State Bashar al-Assad, on a
four-day visit to Turkey starting Tuesday, met with his Turkish
counterpart Abdullah Gul in an official ceremony at Cankaya Palace
Wednesday. Assad stated Syria's support to Turkey's right to
self-defense. "President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan assured me
Turkey had no ulterior motives in attacking northern Iraq," Bashar
told the press after meeting Gul. Assad claimed the US-led
coalition forces were mainly responsible for tackling the PKK in the
region. Bashar will meet Turkish business representatives in
Istanbul on Thursday and leave Turkey on Friday.

Turkish Incursion Fears Hurt Trade in Southeast Turkey
Mainstream Sabah says about 40,000 Turkish troops backed by Cobra
and Sikorsky helicopters continue security operations in the
southeastern provinces of Sirnak, Hakkari and Siirt. Several papers
report people and businessmen fear the impact of the operations,
saying oil trade with northern Iraq was halted. Trade with northern
Iraq diminished to USD 2.085 billion in 2006 from USD 8 billion in
2005, says Sabah. Leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet reports
businessmen in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir say Turkish
attacks will bring trade activities in the region to a standstill,
and take business in the region "back to the 1990s."

Paper: Iraq May Not Join Istanbul Summit
Without citing sources, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet claims Iraqi
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari will not participate in the expanded
Iraq's neighbors' summit talks to be held in Istanbul soon unless
Vice President Tarik al-Hashimi convinces Kurdish leader Massoud
Barzani to take urgent measures against the PKK and cut support for
the terrorist organization. Secretary Rice might also cancel her
participation in Istanbul talks in the face of such a development,
Cumhuriyet reports, saying the diplomatic initiative launched by
Turkey could be deadlocked.

Armenian Resolution in US Congress Waning
All papers report 11 US lawmakers have withdrawn support from the
Armenian genocide resolution in Congress, which was approved last
week by House Foreign Affairs Committee. Papers say after receiving
a call from President Bush, Speaker Pelosi said it was not certain
that the resolution would come to the floor for a vote. Mainstream
Vatan says the Armenian lobby has been stunned by the developments.


Turkish General Staff chief General Yasar Buyukanit, in Rome on an
official visit, told the press that if the resolution should be
adopted in the Congress, the Turkey-US military ties will "never be
the same." "But I hope it will not pass, and our ties with the US
will be better," Buyukanit said. Buyukanit, in response to a
question, said he was "surprised" to see Tom Lantos vote in favor of
the bill. Papers also report President Bush as saying "Congress has
more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the
Muslim world, especially one that is providing vital support for our
military every day."

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- High Election Board (YSK) said the referendum on the
constitutional reforms will be put to vote on October 21. The
reforms foresee general elections to be held once in every four
years instead of five, the president to be elected by popular vote,
the presidential term to be lowered from the current seven years to
five with a second term in office, and a quorum of one-third (184)

ANKARA 00002579 003 OF 003


of the total number of MPs (550) to be required to open a
parliamentary debate.

- Brent Scowcroft, Chairman of the American-Turkish Council (ATC),
met yesterday
Prime Minister Erdogan. The two discussed Turkey-US ties.

- Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir faces two lawsuits for describing
the PKK as an "armed Kurdish opposition movement" and making PKK
propaganda in London in December last year. The prosecutor in
Diyarbakir asks for a total 12.5-year prison sentence for Baydemir.


International News

- NATO secretary general Scheffer called President Gul to urge
restraint over a possible Turkish military operation into Iraq.

- Standard & Poor's said the parliamentary approval of incursions
into Iraq will have no immediate impact on the ratings on Turkey.

- IMF's "World Economic Outlook" report contains only one sentence
about Turkey: In 2007 Turkish growth is expected to be 5 percent,
and inflation 8.2 percent.
WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>