Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002761
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2007
In Today's Papers
Peres, Abbas to Address Turkish Parliament
All papers report that on Monday, President Abdullah Gul held a
joint news conference with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres
after the two leaders met at Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara.
In response to a question about Iran's nuclear program, Gul stressed
Turkey opposed any country in the region building weapons of mass
destruction, although he said every country had the right to develop
peaceful nuclear energy. Gul also said the remarks of Iranian
President Ahmadinejad calling for the eradication of Israel were
"mere rhetoric," and should not be taken seriously. Peres disagreed
with Gul, stressing Iran sponsors terror in the region. Gul
promised Peres it would work for the release of two Israeli soldiers
held by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas since last year, describing
the issue as "humanitarian." Papers also report that in his meeting
with the Israeli President, Gul asked Israel to open a
representative office in Turkish Cyprus and launch ferry services
between the Turkish north and the Israeli port city of Haifa.
However, reports indicate that Peres declined to make commitments
but promised to discuss the issue with the Israeli government.
On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will join Gul and
Peres at trilateral talks in Ankara. Peres and Abbas will then both
address the Turkish Parliament. In his meeting with Prime Minister
Erdogan later in the day, Peres said the meeting of the leaders of
Israel and Palestine would only be possible in Turkey, the only
country which has good relations with both sides. Peres, Abbas and
Gul will also attend the signing of a framework accord on Tuesday
for the establishment of an industrial zone in the West Bank in
which Turkish firms will make investments under the "Ankara Forum"
project initiated by Turkey in April 2005. Businessmen of the three
countries will sign the accord which is expected to create jobs for
Papers also note that the Ankara visits came just before a round of
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to be hosted by the US in Annapolis,
Maryland. On Monday, Peres said both sides must show pragmatism and
determination at that meeting. According to papers, Peres rejected
an appeal by Gul that Syria, too, should be invited to Annapolis,
saying it was "not realistic."
Turkish Soldiers Released by the PKK Arrested
All papers report yesterday and today that the eight Turkish
soldiers who had been abducted and later released by the PKK have
been arrested by the military court in the eastern city of Van. The
soldiers have been charged with disobeying orders. The soldiers
were released with a written protocol two weeks ago to a delegation
that included three DTP MPs. The soldiers have faced criticism
since their return and have been accused of aiding the PKK
propaganda. The soldiers' lawyer will reportedly file objections
against the arrest decision. A media ban has been placed on the
court proceedings. In addition, three parliamentarians are under
investigation. They are members of the pro-Kurdish DTP who traveled
to northern Iraq to join the representatives of the northern Iraqi
government in the handover of the soldiers.
DTP under Pressure from Legal Action
All papers report Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an
investigation into Fatma Kurtulan, an MP from the pro-Kurdish DTP,
after the press published the photograph of a woman it claimed to be
her at a PKK camp. The prosecutor claims Kurtulan received training
at PKK camps. At the same time, a case has been opened against the
party's new leader Nurettin Demirtas who is accused of avoiding
military service with forged medical reports. Demirtas, if found
guilty, would face two to five years in prison before doing his
military service. Demirtas rejected claims that the report was
fake, saying he was ready to undergo medical controls once again.
Editorial Commentary on Pakistan, Saudi King Abdullah's Visit
ANKARA 00002761 002 OF 002
Akif Emre commented in the Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak (11/13):
"If we try to name the crisis in Pakistan, we can easily name it as
a "nuclear-political crisis." The most important factor in the
struggle for power in Pakistan is who will control their nuclear
weapons and how. The US, in the Middle East, while controlling all
the energy resources in order to be more powerful in the military
field, is, at the same time, clearing its path of any rivals. The
US is declaring the problematic powers first as a 'threat' and then
eradicating them fully. As an example, Saddam was announced as a
threat first and then Iraq became ineffective in the system. In
short, the US has high desires to take nuclear weapons away from
Pakistan. The US needs Pakistan and an administration which won't
hesitate to stand against its people on the path to countering
terrorism. But the US needs a Pakistan without any nuclear powers.
It won't be surprising if Pakistan, in the following days, is
offered to be rescued from the chaotic situation if it hands its
nuclear weapons to the US."
Mehmet Yilmaz commented in the mainstream Hurriyet (11/12):
"President of Turkish Republic Gul went to visit King Abdullah's
hotel room in Ankara with an excuse that it was showing respect to
the King's age and the friendship between the two countries. The
Turkish Republic has certain protocol rules which were established
years ago. Similar rules applied then and will continue to be
applied in many places in the world. These rules are a must for the
State to be called a State and cannot be changed due to the level of
the relationship between the leaders. Someone should remind
President Gul that the Turkish state was not established in a
Bedouin tent and that the protocol rules of this state are highly
important and cannot be left to some peoples' pro-Arab sentiments."
- The outlawed PKK militants have kidnapped seven people including
two state-sponsored village guards in Baskale in the eastern
province of Van near the border with Iran.
- The Turkish General Staff (TGS) said Monday nine PKK militants
surrendered to security forces in the southeastern province of
Sirnak and northeastern province of Artvin.
- Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas said he plans to invest USD 15 billion
in transport by 2012.
- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) chief Kemal Dervis
said Turkey needs to grow at least 7 percent a year.
- Nine Palestinians were killed and more than 100 were wounded in
Gaza Monday when a mass rally marking the third anniversary of the
death of Yasser Arafat ended in fighting between Hamas and Fatah.
- A huge blaze has broken out in a disused warehouse in Waterden
Road in east London, where extensive rebuilding is taking place for
the 2012 Olympics.
- German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy have
discussed the integration of immigrants at their meeting Monday.
- Around 20,000 people including radical civic groups clashed with
police and paralyzed traffic across the nation against the Korea-US
free trade agreement over the weekend.