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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002856

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
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2007


In Today's Papers

All papers report Ambassador Ross Wilson hosted a breakfast meeting
Tuesday for visiting US congressman Christopher Shays and Kurdish
politicians from different political parties, except the pro-Kurdish
DTP.

Liberal Radikal says the meeting with Kurdish politicians outside
the DTP has sparked speculation that the US has adopted a new policy
with regard to the Kurdish issue.
Radikal reports that DTP deputy Ahmet Turk of the pro-Kurdish
Democratic Society Party (DTP) harshly criticized the US Embassy in
Ankara for failing to invite a representative from his party,
calling it an "insult to the Turkish parliament." Radikal reports
that Turk emphasized that his party "included 20 lawmakers in the
parliament, who are supported by two million voters," criticizing
their exclusion from such efforts. Turk added the Kurdish question
should be handled in the parliament. Radikal reports Kurdish party
KADEP leader Serafettin Elci, who joined the breakfast, said the US
Ambassador has invited only "the parties that reject violence," and
noted that the position of the DTP in this regard was "not clear."
The breakfast meeting, hosted by Ambassador Ross Wilson, was held
for Representative Christopher Shays, who wanted to learn about the
current situation regarding the Kurdish issue and the PKK ahead of
his visit to predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey.

Bugun reports DTP deputy Sirri Sakik said "the way to resolve the
Kurdish issue is not by creating 'artificial representatives' of the
Kurdish people in Turkey. Don't you know that the DTP is the real
representative of the Kurds in Turkey? The DTP is not a leper, nor
is it illegitimate. This is shameful on the part of the US Embassy.
We are as legitimate as the prime minister is." Meanwhile, Today's
Zaman reports that the meeting's focus was not solely the AK Party
and its policies, but that participants discussed the expansion of
democratic rights and economic initiatives in the southeast.

Editorial Commentary on Shays-Wilson Meet with Kurdish
Parliamentarians
Hasan Celal Guzel commented in the liberal Radikal (11/29): "US
Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson is very busy. His Excellency, as
the envoy of a superpower, is trying to resolve the Kurdish issue.
Along with Congressmen Shays and Palorino, assigned to inspect
Turkey's Kurdistan, his Excellency hosted a Kurdish summit at the
Embassy. First of all, the US Ambassador has no right to host such
a meeting since it clearly interferes with Turkey's domestic
affairs. Just because the PKK was announced as a joint enemy during
PM Erdogan's last visit to Washington, the Ambassador has no right
to host a meeting about the 'Kurdish Issue.' I am sure that the
Ambassador will defend himself by saying "such meetings were held in
the past as well, and this time it was arranged for the sake of
visiting Congressmen." Well, in that case, could you answer this
question please: if the Turkish Ambassador to US Nabi Sensoy had a
similar meeting at the Turkish Embassy in Washington on a sensitive
issue for the US, what would your reaction be? Ambassador Wilson
went beyond the limit with this meeting and the Foreign Ministry
should make the necessary warning."

Mustafa Balbay wrote in the leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet (11/29):
"The contents of the meeting Ambassador Wilson hosted the other day
with the Kurdish origin parliamentarians, reminds us of the
principles US President Woodrow Wilson published in January 1918.
Reportedly, Ambassador Wilson discussed the PKK, Iran and Iraq with
his guests, who did not include DTP deputies. This meeting shows us
that the US is after new approaches in finding a solution to the
regional issues and already took DTP out of the equation. Article
12 of the Wilson Principles (WP) says that "sovereignty rights
should be given to the Turkish parts of the Ottoman Empire but,
independence should be given to the non-Turks." Of course, this was
received with great happiness in Istanbul, at that time. The huge
similarity in the targets of the WP supporters then and the Greater

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Middle East Project supporters now cannot be ignored. Years ago,
President Wilson told the Ottoman Empire that "for your own peace,
I'll separate and down size you and I will control your strategic
regions." And today, Ambassador Wilson is saying "I'll make your
regional plans for your own peace and to eliminate the PKK. You
will be a part of my plans." As President Wilson's principles were
supported by some so-called intellectuals, Ambassador Wilson's ideas
also received some support. Thus history repeats itself: The
imperialist countries never change their targets, they only change
their methods and tools."

Congressman Shays Visits Southeast Turkey
All media outlets extensively cover US Congressman Christopher
Shays' travel to the mainly Kurdish southeast "to see the economic
and political developments in the region." Shays met a 70 year old
woman whose two sons "died in the mountains" fighting with the PKK,
and whose husband is missing. Early Wednesday, Shays went to the
towns of Silopi and Cizre in the Sirnak province on the border with
Iraq. Mainstream papers and the Islamist-oriented Zaman quote Shays
at the Habur border crossing, "Several of my fellow Congressmen and
President Bush have concerns over the issue of the PKK; we see the
organization as the enemy of Turkey, Iraq and the US. I'm here to
see that we're doing all in the fight against terrorism." Radikal
reports Shays wants to see "an end to the PKK," and pledged US
support to that end. Islamist-oriented Yeni Safak reports Shays
said Turkey wants to solve the PKK problem "in a peaceful and
diplomatic way." Mainstream dailies Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah and
the Islamist-oriented Zaman report Shays suggested "dialogue" as the
only solution to the Kurdish problem.

Germany Hands over PKK Member Sought by Turkey
Islamist-oriented Zaman reports on its front page Germany extradited
Esref Kizilay to Turkey. Kizilay is a PKK militant sought by Turkey
by Interpol Red Notices for killing six Turkish police officers in
Adana in 1997. He had fled to Germany in 1998. On Tuesday, a
Turkish police team took Kizilay to Diyarbakir for interrogation.
Zaman reports that Turkey sees Kizilay's extradition as a major
change in the European attitudes against terrorism.

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

- Daniel Savci, an Assyrian priest in Midyat in the southeastern
city of Mardin, has been kidnapped by unidentified people. The
kidnappers demand a ransom of 300,000 Euro.

- President Abdullah Gul is to travel to Islamabad on December 2-3
as the guest of President Pervez Musharraf to meet with government
and opposition leaders for "peace and democracy" in Pakistan.
During the visit, Gul will be accompanied by his wife Hayrunnisa
Gul, senior officials, business leaders and top media personalities
of Turkey.

- The tender for the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power
plant is to be announced February 21. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler
said Turkey plans to build three plants until 2010 with a total
capacity of 5,000 megawatts in which local investors will have
60-percent shares.

- A survey conducted by TESEV foundation for economic and social
research shows that more than half of the judges and prosecutors in
Turkey see the human rights as "a threat for the security of the
state."

International News

- The UN has returned to Iraq -- UN envoy to Iraq Staffan de Mistura
and Kurdish regional administration PM Nechirvan Barzani have opened

ANKARA 00002856 003 OF 003


Wednesday a UN office in Erbil.

- Iranian President Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Annapolis
conference was "a failure."

- Representatives of six world powers trying to curb Iran's nuclear
ambitions will meet in Paris over the weekend.

- Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that it had arrested 208
suspected al-Qaeda members who had been planning attacks on oil
facilities and assassinations of clerics and security forces across
the country.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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