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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Ankara-Washington Ties; Press Freedom In

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2045/01 2851911
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121911Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9482
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002045

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; ANKARA-WASHINGTON TIES; PRESS FREEDOM IN
SOUTH AMERICA; 10/12/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Major international stories today are related to the US-Turkish
relationship in view of a possible attack from Turkey against
Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq, thereby destabilizing even further
the situation in the country; Ankara's denial of the Armenian
genocide being equated to Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust; and
increasing concerns over the press freedom situation in South
America.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "A friend that could become a threat"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacisn," comments (10/12) "Turkey is a member of
the White House 'special friends club.' Some of its few members are
Israel, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, among others. They have a special
bilateral regime, in which much is forgiven, little is questioned
and almost everything is subject to negotiation.

"Membership is granted based on several reasons... Given the
interests involved, the White House overlooks 'pending issues'
within the club, such as the Pakistani authorities' relationship
with Islamic fundamentalists and the oppression to which Saudis have
been subjected for decades. Using the same approach, the Bush
administration believes that what the Ottoman Empire did to
Armenians between 1915 and 1923 is something unimportant and belongs
to the past.

"In contrast, it is a hot current issue for both Turks and
Armenians. Therefore, the US Congress's decision... could well alter
the status quo on the border between the West and the East.

"The situation is even more complicated for the White House because
Turks also have a pending issue with Kurds..., who dream of their
own country... In Ankara's view, more than 3,000 PKK rebels have
attacked Turkey and then obtain refuge in Northern Iraq.

"In this way, the US should mediate between Kurds and Turks, who
want to enter the EU, endure the Kurds' 'provocations' although they
do not hide their willingness to enter Iraq and take revenge.

"In this context, Democrats have promoted a seemingly harmless
statement, which in practice could complicate the US Pentagon's
military plans in Iraq even further than any other draft legislation
aimed at twisting Bush's arm for him to withdraw his 160,000
troops.

"Why? Because if the Ankara government, which is today led by an
Islamic, although moderate party, breaks ties with Washington and
enters Iraq, it could unleash a regional chaos of unpredictable
consequences... If one day the US decides to leave Iraq, it will
have to face up that land ways out are not abundant..."

- "Denial"

Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarn," writes
(10/12) "Although the removal of the Turkish Ambassador to the US
may seem exaggerated, there is no room for exaggeration.

"What happens is that the seriousness of Turkey's wound is as big as
the unpredictable complication of this historic conflict.

"One example is eloquent. Ankara has proposed to create a committee
of experts to investigate whether the Armenian genocide really
happened. Who in the West couldn't compare this proposal with
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's irritating idea that the Jewish
Holocaust did not occur?

"Ankara's posture is the worst among its allies (Israel is not the
least important one). Denial is a bad political ally (Latin America
knows a lot about it) and it is a cost that very few would want to
pay."

- "A hard press freedom situation (in Latin America)"

Daily-of-record "La Nacisn" editorializes (10/12) "Two documents
that have been published these days reflect the increasing concern
over the evolution of press freedom in the hemisphere. One was made
public at the end of the annual assembly of the Argentine
Journalistic Association (ADEPA), and the other one was the joint
work from ADEPA and journalistic associations from Brazil, Colombia,
Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

"The wave of extreme populism in Venezuela threatens to spread to
other countries as though South America was doomed to approach the

brutal Cuban dictatorship...

"... In addition to Cuba, no other case is as serious as that of the
Venezuela of Chvez. Following the censorship imposed on the main TV
station, the government has seized its technical infrastructure
while chasing and attacking journalists and media corporations...

"... The ADEPA report also acknowledges that press freedom prevails
in Argentina, although it is being conditioned by the Government,
which refuses to admit to its institutional role...

"... We should underscore that ADEPA closed its declaration with a
hopeful statement that dialogue could lead to strengthen the
institutions of the country. Now that Argentina is on the eve of
presidential elections.., we should highlight the permanent search
for tolerance rather than confrontation, in which no one wins.
History has left a lot of lessons in this regard."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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