Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2007
In Today's Papers
AKP insists it has no "Comprehensive Kurdish Plan"
All papers speculate on Prime Minister Erdogan remarks from last
week that "the government's priority is to make terrorists lay down
arms; they can choose democracy or remain in the mountains." Media
implies that the PM has a "comprehensive Kurdish plan" which he
allegedly discussed with President Bush. Opposition CHP leader
Deniz Baykal claims Erdogan - based on these comments - plans to
declare amnesty for the terrorists. "It will be an extremely
dangerous situation if we begin political negotiations with the
PKK," Baykal said. AKP deputy chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said
there was no new plan and that Erdogan has made similar statements
for the past four or five years. Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek
said that armed struggle is not a clever choice, especially since
democratic struggle is within the framework of the law. He also
noted the government had no plans for declaring amnesty.
Columnists such as Murat Yetkin of liberal Radikal and Ibrahim
Karagul of Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak urged the government to
disclose Turkey's comprehensive Kurdish plan. Both columnists
believe the plan was discussed during Secretary Rice's meetings in
Ankara and with President Bush in Washington, D.C. and that this
comprehensive plan includes some level of amnesty.
Meanwhile, columnist Enis Berberoglu of Hurriyet speculated that,
after northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders softened their position
regarding a Turkish military operation, there are no more obstacles
against a cross border operation. Berberoglu wrote that a Turkish
cross border operation could happen at any minute.
Kurds Ban Reporters' Access to PKK Bases in Northern Iraq
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Zaman and others report the
Kurdish regional government (KRG) in northern Iraq has banned
journalists from traveling to PKK bases in the Kandil Mountains.
KRG spokesman Jamal Abdullah accused the media of aggravating the
crisis with Turkey. "We are trying different ways to calm the
situation with Turkey," he said. Abdullah denied accusations that
Kurdish Peshmerge had detained several journalists.
Turkey Gives Note to Iran for Abducted People in Van
Hurriyet, Cumhuriyet: Interior Minister Besir Atalay said that
Turkey delivered a diplomatic note to Iran regarding seven people
from Van who were kidnapped last week. "Since the abduction
happened in Baskale, which is near our border with Iran, we think
that our citizens were taken there. Therefore, we have delivered a
diplomatic note to Iran."
Axa Insurance Company Compensates Families of Armenians Killed in
World War I
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal and others: French Insurance Company
Axa, acting upon the verdict of a California Court in 2005, paid a
total of 14.5 million USD to three Armenian associations who will
distribute the money to 7000 descendants of those who died in the
incidents of 1915. The Armenians who opened the court case claimed
that their relatives had insured themselves before 1915, but their
inheritors did not receive any payment. Milliyet's headline on the
issue reads "Genocide Compensation from Axa".
Editorial Opinion on Kosovo
Sami Kohen commented in mainstream daily Milliyet: "Taci, the winner
of Kosovo's recent elections, speaks of a new era there. When
independence is declared in December, it will mark a new era for
Kosovo, yet there are many issues to work out. The Serbian minority
in Kosovo does not want to be separated from Belgrade. Moreover,
neither the EU nor the UN, including the Troika, is united in their
opinions concerning Kosovo independence. Therefore, if Taci
declares independence on December 10 as he promised, it will be a
complex, conflict-filled and painful era for Kosovo. It is not
clear how the international community will react if Kosovo
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unilaterally declares its independence. The US supports
independence in principle while the EU members do not agree
unanimously on this issue. Russia sides with the opposition within
the EU nations, such as Spain, Cyprus and Greece. After all, each
country shapes its policy based on its own interests and not
according to territorial integrity and separatism."
- Opposition far right MHP has drafted a bill for removing the
parliamentary immunities of lawmakers who commit crimes against
state unity. MHP will submit the proposal to all parties in the
parliament, except for DTP.
- Two separate percussion bombs exploded simultaneously Monday night
at the offices of the ruling AKP and far right MHP in Saray in Van
province. The blasts caused only material damage.
- Turkish companies Turkuaz and Nurol, along with Europe's biggest
commercial broadcaster RTL Group, have applied for prequalification
to buy Turkish media company ATV-Sabah. The state fund TMSF seized
ATV-Sabah in April and has set a minimum reserve price of $1.1
billion for the group. The auction is scheduled for December 5.
- On Wednesday in Tbilisi, President Abdullah Gul, Azerbaijan
President Aliyev and Georgian President Mihail Saakashvili will
attend a ground breaking ceremony for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
Turkey is contributing $220 million of the $420 million for the
project and will construct 76 km of railway between Turkey's eastern
province of Kars and the Turkish-Georgian border. Georgia will
build 30 kilometers of railway from its border with Turkey to
Akhalkalaki. The railway, expected to be ready in 2010, will carry
about 1.5 million passengers and 3 million tons of goods every year.
- Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman
Abbas met Monday to seek compromise language for the joint
declaration to be released at the end of the Annapolis meeting.
- Bouderbala Fateh, head al-Qaeda in Algiers, was arrested in a raid
after a tip from local residents.
- Frances Townsend, the White House advisor on homeland security and
counterterrorism, has resigned from her post after three and a half