Search

 

Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

VZCZCXRO0020
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #2792/01 3231356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191356Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4396
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 8502
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3551
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2467
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6267
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 6073
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2665
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 002792

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
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2007


In Today's Papers

Secretary Bodman Joins Azerbaijan-Turkey-Greece Natural Gas Pipeline

SIPDIS
Opening
All papers report that yesterday, Prime Minister Erdogan,
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Greek Prime Minister Kostas
Karamanlis inaugurated a pipeline that will carry Azeri natural gas
from Turkey to Greece. US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and
Georgian Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri joined the inaugural
ceremony. Erdogan and Karamanlis, in a symbolic gesture, shook
hands on the bridge over the River Meric (Evros), which divides the
two countries.

Eventually, the pipeline will carry12 billion cubic meters of gas
per year to Greece from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field. The rest
will be prepared for re-export to the rest of Europe. The cost of
the Turkish part of the pipeline is estimated at USD 144 million.

Papers describe the opening of the pipeline as "historic,"
underlining that it was the second most important Turkish step in
energy after the opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. The
pipeline will be extended to Italy, transforming Turkey into an
energy bridge for transporting natural gas to Europe.

Erdogan said in his speech at the ceremony that the project is an
important step for building one of the four main routes for shipping
natural gas to the EU. He emphasized that the energy projects would
boost welfare, peace and stability in the region, along with
strengthening the ongoing rapprochement between Turkey and Greece.
"Our goal is to contribute, mainly with the Nabucco Project, to
Europe's energy security with projects to be developed in the
future," Erdogan said. Karamanlis praised the "harmonious
cooperation" between Greece and Turkey, and reiterated support for
Turkey's EU entry bid. Aliyev said Azerbaijan would join the
European common market for the first time, and added he believed
this cooperation project would serve as a model for other countries
in the region. Bodman hailed the pipeline as "a significant
development, one that builds a new energy bridge between East and
West." Bodman said the pipeline provides "diversification" for
consumers and suppliers who will all benefit from the resulting
competition and noted the project was a great success for Turkey,
Greece and Azerbaijan and will provide new job opportunities in
Central Asia. Liberal Radikal and Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak
claim Secretary Bodman was included in the ceremony upon the
insistence of the Turks, and also that he suggested Turkmenistan and
Kazakhstan should eventually be included in future natural gas
talks.

On Saturday, mainstream Hurriyet reported on Secretary Bodman's
comments to the Turkish-American Business Council in Istanbul on
Friday. Bodman said Turkey's regional leadership role was of great
significance and that the country has become a critical transit
point for energy in the world. He noted the US would continue to
support Turkey as an important transit line for oil and natural gas.
Bodman also emphasized Turkey's great opportunities to develop new
and clean types of energy, including solar energy. The Secretary
said he hoped Turkey would become a full member of Global Nuclear
Energy Partnership.

Closure Case against DTP Protested
All papers report 25 people were detained when 6,000 pro-Kurdish DTP
supporters clashed with riot police during a rally held in the
southeastern province of Batman. The demonstration was organized to
protest a lawsuit seeking to shut down the DTP. Former Kurdish DEP
deputy Leyla Zana, referring to the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah
Ocalan, stated "I know that one day he will join us and you will be
able to listen to him." In Sanliurfa, a group of 200 DTP supporters
also taged a peaceful demonstration. In Istanbul, a small group of
Freedom and Democracy Party (ODP) members held a short protest march
to denounce the case against DTP.

ANKARA 00002792 002 OF 003

Weekend papers report the chief prosecutor's office has filed a
lawsuit asking for the closure of Turkey's main Kurdish party DTP.
The 121 page indictment directs 141 accusations against party
officials. The prosecutor claimed the DTP has become "a focal point
of activities against the sovereignty of the state and unity of the
country." The prosecutor asked for five year political bans for 221
DTP activists, including eight members of parliament. The
indictment cites the abduction of eight soldiers by the PKK, saying
the incident was used by the DTP for propaganda purposes and warns
that "ethnic civil strife" could break out if the party is not shut
down. The prosecutor needs the support of seven of the 11
Constitutional Court justices to carry out the ban.

Editorial Commentary on DTP Closure
Ferai Tinc commented in mainstream Hurriyet (11/19): "Following the
investigation against the pro-Kurdish DTP, Prime Minister Erdogan
clarified the government's position that the party should not be
closed and democratic discussions should continue.
Certainly, it is the duty of a government to expand and extend
democratic platforms as much as possible. Yet, it is also very
difficult for the government to deal with a party that has set
itself up for closure. This weekend's nationwide DTP rallies
demonstrate an intentional strategy to increase tension; the DTP is
deliberately provoking a closure even while both the opposition and
the government do not support a party closure. At this point, the
DTP parliamentarians have a vital task and responsibility. They
better take advantage of the government's constructive attitude and
be helpful and positive in this process."

Hasan Bulent Kahraman commented in mainstream Sabah (11/19):
"After the recent elections, Kurdish politics have come to an
historic turning point. Kurdish voters, by preferring the ruling
AKP, demonstrated their desire for new approaches that seek
democratic solutions, thereby dismissing the Ocalan/PKK factor.
However, in the aftermath of the election, the pro-Kurdish DTP has
made a lot of mistakes. Evidently, Ocalan was trying to corner the
AKP government by radicalizing the Kurdish issue. The connection
between the DTP and PKK is certainly not a secret, but it is
disturbing. The DTP failed to work for democratization and failed
to distance itself from terrorism. Nevertheless, this party should
remain in the political arena and should not be closed. Turkey is
capable of making some significant steps to settle the Kurdish issue
despite the DTP's connections to the PKK. The judiciary process is
one thing to watch, but the political process should continue."

Northern Iraqi Administration will not Object to a Limited Operation

Milliyet, Hurriyet, Radikal, and Yeni Safak report that, following a
meeting between Massoud Barzani and representatives of other
northern Iraqi political parties who had visited Turkey recently,
Secretary General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Selahaddin Muhammed

SIPDIS
Bahaddin told the media that they will not interfere in a possible
Turkish operation into northern Iraq on the condition that the
operation will be limited and will not threaten civilian areas.

Turkish General Staff Denies the Ban on Retired Generals
Sabah, Milliyet, Vatan, Radikal, Zaman, Cumhuriyet and others:
Following reports over the weekend claiming that retired generals
are banned from making comments or giving interviews to the media,
the Turkish General Staff (TGS) issued a press statement on its
web-site on Sunday. The press statement said that 'an amendment on
this issue was sent to the Defense Ministry on April 30, 2007 and it
has no link with recent developments. The change that was
introduced does not impose a general restriction on retired military
personnel, but aims to preserve the tradition of loyalty in the
Turkish military. The statement also said that "the Turkish
military cannot hold any sentiments other than respect and gratitude
to its retired personnel. However, certain individuals, though few
in number, attack the Turkish Military with an unacceptable hatred

ANKARA 00002792 003 OF 003


and hostility through the media. Many times this is under the
influence of fundamental views. Keeping such individuals away from
the Turkish military is a natural institutional protective
measure."

TV News:
NTV

Domestic News

- Opposition CHP leader Deniz Baykal said a cross-border operation
into northern Iraq must be conducted; otherwise Turkey will be lose
its credibility.

- On November 23, Prime Minister Erdogan and AKP lawmakers will hold
a three-day meeting to discuss constitutional reforms.

- Interior Minister Besir Atalay, in a meeting with the governors of
11 provinces in southeast Turkey, stressed democracy will not be
sacrificed to combat terror.

- Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said Turkey has to make USD 130
billion energy investments in the next ten years.

International News

- The opposition Democratic Party of former ethnic Albanian
guerrilla leader Hashim Thaci won the November 17 parliamentary
elections in Kosovo.

- US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said President
Musharraf must lift the state of emergency he declared this month
and release all political detainees in Pakistan.

- The death toll from a cyclone that devastated Bangladesh has
surpassed 2,200 officials said Sunday.

- Over the weekend, Iraq's parliament ordered an inquiry into the
delay of a referendum over whether the oil-rich city of Kirkuk will
join the Kurdish region in the north.

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>>