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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002945

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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
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2007

In Today's Papers

TGS Chief General Buyukanit and General Saygun on the PKK
All papers give extensive coverage to the messages issued by Chief
of the Turkish General Staff (TGS) General Buyukanit and his deputy
General Saygun at a TGS symposium in Ankara yesterday. Liberal
Radikal and mainstream Hurriyet headline with "Buyukanit: 'the PKK
is legalized and has entered the Parliament.'" Leftist-nationalist
Cumhuriyet says "Buyukanit criticized the DTP harshly and said that
the PKK is in the parliament." Cumhuriyet reports that, speaking in
a symposium organized by the TGS on 'Prevention of Economic and
Ideological Support for the PKK/Kongra-Gel', General Buyukanit said
"the PKK entered the parliament politically. The PKK not only
became politicized but is also legalized. Acts that will encourage
terrorist organizations should be avoided". General Buyukanit added
that "since the beginning of the conflict with the PKK, Turkey has
overlooked some important values of humanity like human rights,
democracy, freedom and peace. The PKK gained support in the
international arena by exploiting some of these values." When asked
about his remarks that the PKK is now legalized, General Buyukanit
said "I meant their part in parliament. They submit constitutional
amendment proposals." Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ergin
Saygun criticized the EU and said "Europe, which supports the PKK,
shares the responsibility of Turkey's loss of lives and property."


"What are the generals saying?"
Fikret Bila commented in mainstream daily Milliyet: "The Generals
once again declared to the public that some countries are applying a
double standard when it comes to the fight against PKK terrorism.
It is no secret that the US and EU are siding with us against the
PKK only on a rhetorical basis, because they do not prevent
financial and logistical support for the organization. It is also a
known fact that these countries have a common goal regarding the
future of the PKK issue: they tend to take steps to have Turkey sit
and negotiate with the PKK on a political level. Both the US and EU
consider Al Qaeda and related organizations as terrorists when
terrorism is in question. Their interpretation of the global fight
against terror is limited only to those who harm them directly.
From their perspective, the PKK is only a local and ethnic issue
thus they are suggesting that Turkey work toward a political
settlement. Given the current picture, neither the US and nor EU
are acting in collaboration with their declaration of the PKK as a
terror organization. Meanwhile, the PKK is using terror to impose
its political goals upon Turkey while it does not face any counter
deeds from the outside world."

"Ending Terror"
Ergun Babahan wrote in the mainstream daily Sabah: "Turkey has
gained significant support and understanding in its fight against
terrorism. In this current atmosphere, Turkey should be able to
take every possible step for ending PKK terrorism. If a new law is
required to attract PKK militants to come home, then the government
should not hesitate to proceed. Turkey's southeast is in the
process of transformation; politics through violence does not
attract support from people. If political authority acts hesitantly
when it comes to taking courageous steps, there will be consequences
for generations to come. Turkey is paying a heavy price for the
fact that Turkish political authorities have always been hesitant
and overly cautious in taking steps and making the right decisions
at proper times. The ruling AKP should be able to overcome the
'hawks hurdle' within the party."

The Opposition is against the Amnesty Law
In an interview with mainstream Sabah, main opposition party CHP
leader Deniz Baykal said that issuance of a "Back to Home" law in
the American style will not work since those who are on the
mountains are there to conduct politics. Such a law would be a type
of amnesty, which is part of the US plan for the region. The US is
allowing Turkey to conduct point operations in Northern Iraq against

ANKARA 00002945 002 OF 002


the PKK, but on the other hand is telling the PKK not to take any
action for the time being. This is not a mentality to end the PKK,
on the contrary, it is a mentality to support the PKK's survival.
The government seems to be resigned to this mentality." Liberal
Radikal reports that opposition party MHP also criticized AKP on
their policies for acting in line with US and EU recommendations.

New YOK President: "All bans will be lifted"
Hurriyet, Zaman, Milliyet, Sabah, Yeni Safak, Radikal and ohers: In
his first message after undertaking the post of Higher Education
Board (YOK) Presidency Prof. Yusuf Ziya Ozcan said that he will work
to lift all bans in universities. He said "I have two visions: one
is to lift all bans in universities and to attach priority to their
main duty, which is science."

Karen Hughes: "We will re-gain Turks' hearts"
Sabah, Zaman, Aksam, Yeni Safak: US State Department Undersecretary
for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes said that the US will start a
series of programs to re-gain the hearts of Turks.


TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

Diyarbakir prosecutor demands two-year prison sentences for 54 DTP
mayors who held a press conference to voice allegations that PKK
leader Abdullah Ocalan was poisoned in jail.

Transport Minister Binali Yildirim has declined to provide an
explanation of the crash of an Atlas Jet plane near Isparta which
killed 57 people.

The captain of the boat that sank this week near Seferihisar handed
over the control of the boat to one of the migrants. Of the 85
illegal immigrants on the boat, six survived, 43 perished, and 36
remain missing.


International News

After a long absence, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani yesterday
appeared before the media and said that the Kurds were not planning
to set up an independent state.

A Lebanese presidential election scheduled for Tuesday was postponed
until next Monday, December 17.

67 people died and 60 others injured when two car bombs exploded in
Algeria's capital Algiers.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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