Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
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SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2007
In Today's Papers
Papers: Annapolis' Actual Target is Iran
All media outlets report the Middle East peace conference in
Annapolis begins Tuesday. Hurriyet, Milliyet and Radikal, and Vatan
write that significant results are not expected to emerge from the
meeting, while the Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak and the
leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet claim the meeting's actual agenda is
to discuss Iran. Under the headline "Annapolis Summit: Mission
Impossible," the leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet says "although
President Bush voiced hope after meeting with Olmert and Abbas, the
non-involvement of Iran and Hamas in the summit has crippled the
chances for a settlement." Mainstream Hurriyet calls Secretary Rice
the "architect" of the meeting where, for the first time, the Saudis
and Israelis will sit at the negotiating table.
Editorial Commentary on Annapolis Conference
Akif Emre commented in the Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak (11/27):
"At this point, sitting at the same table with Palestinians will
benefit Israel and improve the US' position in the region. Israeli
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly said that it is good for
Arab countries to participate in the Annapolis summit, but they
should not intervene with bilateral meetings between Israel and
Palestine. Even these remarks prove that Israel is trying to make
an agreement under their own conditions. In other words, the
Annapolis summit is an initiative to gain time for a peace that will
never be established. It should not be interpreted as pessimism
when Hamas claims that Annapolis will bring winds of war rather than
winds of peace. Initially, Syria's attendance increased hopes for
peace, but now it appears the US is attempting to break the
strategic alliance of Iran and Syria, meaning it wants to render
Iran ineffective in the region. Under these conditions, it is
necessary to see that this meeting is America's way of taking one
more step toward an attack on Iran. Did Turkey calculate this
possibility when working for Syria's inclusion in the meeting?"
Hasan Cemal wrote in the mainstream Milliyet (11/27): "There are no
high hopes for the outcome of the Annapolis summit. What is
important is to jumpstart the negotiations toward the two state
solution. Going any further than that would be risky. Both the
Israeli and Palestinian leaders are weak, however, they know the
situation in the region will deteriorate if they don't do something.
And both countries' leaders support the start of the peace process.
If unsuccessful results come out of this process, it will cause
turmoil and unsteadiness in the region. Such results will have a
negative impact on Turkey as well."
US Troops and Peshmerge Cooperate against the PKK
Mainstream Milliyet reports the Kurdish administration in northern
Iraq has taken measures to restrict the PKK movements in the region.
The number of US troops in northern Iraq has been increased as part
of efforts to clamp down on the PKK militants' movements in
coordination with the Kurdish Peshmerge and thus avert a Turkish
Meanwhile, mainstream Sabah reports Osman Ocalan, the brother of the
PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, told the London-based
Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat that there are only 500 PKK fighters
in the Kandil Mountains. He stated that most of the PKK are in Iran
with PJAK (Free Life in Kurdistan Party), which is fighting against
the Tehran administration.
Investigation Launched into DTP Diyarbakir Rally
All papers report the launch of an investigation into the weekend's
DTP rally in Diyarbakir, during which several people were detained
during clashes with riot police. Addressing the crowd carrying the
posters of Abdullah Ocalan, DTP deputy chairwoman Emine Ayna
apparently referred to Ocalan by using "Sayin" which means
"esteemed" in Turkish.
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In related news, Islamist-oriented Zaman reports that 26 suspected
PKK members were apprehended in Diyarbakir in recent days. Today
marks the 29th anniversary of the founding of the PKK.
Meanwhile, liberal Radikal, leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet and
others report the DTP mayor of Tunceli Songul Erol Abdil called
Zeynep Kinaci a "leading freedom fighter." The comment came during
a rally protesting violence against women. Zeynep Kinaci was a PKK
militant who carried out a suicide bomb attack in the Tunceli
- The first hearing in the trial of Cengiz Yildiz, the police
officer accused of killing Nigerian citizen Festus Okey in downtown
Istanbul in September of this year, began Monday. The prosecutor
has asked for up to 25 years in prison for Yildiz.
- The Interior Ministry dispatched inspectors to probe Sunday's
incident in Izmir in which policemen opened fire at a jeep which did
not stop at a checkpoint, killing the 20-year old driver, Baran
Tursun. In the last two years, 34 people have died in police
shooting incidents across Turkey.
- At the invitation of President Musharraf, President Abdullah Gul
will visit Pakistan December 2-3 in order to intermediate between
the government and opposition for "peace and democracy."
- The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will hear the case filed
by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul against Turkey's
foundations directorate in connection with the control of an
orphanage on Buyukada Island.
- Israeli right-wing activists have launched the "One Jerusalem"
campaign, demanding Prime Minister Olmert not make concessions on
the "Holy City" at this week's Annapolis peace conference in the US.
- The head of the Kurdish regional government, Nechirvan Barzani,
told reporters in Erbil that Kurds made no deal with Turkey or the
US for fighting against the PKK.
- At least 25 police officers were injured when gangs of youths
rioted in several Paris suburbs after two teenagers were killed when
their motorcycle was struck by a police car.
- Russia's upper house of parliament said on Monday the presidential
elections would be held March 2, 2008.