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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2007

In Today's Papers

Debate on Amnesty and PKK
Radikal, Turkiye, Cumhuriyet, Aksam, Yeni Safak, Milliyet, Sabah and
others: Responding to journalists, Prime Minister Erdogan said the
government is not working on a new "return home law," instead, they
are trying to expand and increase the flexibility of the existing
Article 221 in the Turkish Penal Code. Mainstream Sabah quotes PM
Erdogan as saying "we can stretch article 221 and make it different.
The purpose here is to prevent new people from joining the PKK and
enable those who are in the mountains who have not committed a crime
to return to their parents.

Okay Gonensin commented in mainstream daily Vatan (12/13): "A
compilation of PM Erdogan's statements on the Kurdish issue and on
terrorism since he came to power demonstrates that he does not have
a clear vision on these issues. It looks as if developments force
him to explain his stance, and later he says something else to deny
the first statement. A very similar attitude can be seen in the
'coming home' or repentance for PKK militants debate. The support
of 47 percent of the electorate requires a leader to make his views
and arguments clear and then proceed accordingly. We keep hearing
'social, economic and legal measures' to end terror, yet this
rhetoric will bounce around like clichs until we see a vision of
what exactly is meant. So far, he has handled the issue through a
crisis management approach and this has not lead to a lasting
solution. PM Erdogan, unfortunately, does not seem to have any
concrete plan even though he makes 'coming home' calls to militants.
The gist is that Ankara does not really know whether they want a
real solution or not. So, we will keep seeing this lurching
around."

Derya Sazak commented in mainstream daily Milliyet (12/13): "PM
Erdogan announced a plan which supposedly both the government and
military are working on. Meanwhile, Chief of General Staff General
Buyukanit expressed concern over the DTP's attitude in the
parliament by saying 'terrorism has been politicized and legalized.'
The general also opposed a possible amnesty saying 'encouraging
steps for the terrorist organization should be avoided.' Given the
events so far, it seems that the military they continue their
struggle for security on one hand, while they also prevent
governments from taking civilian steps on the other. When Ocalan
was handed over and put in prison in 1999, Turkey had a chance to
initiate civilian steps that would have been helped to disarm the
PKK completely. This opportunity was not taken between 1999 to 2005
at all. The year 2007 was spent in the midst of military losses and
debates over cross border operations. Now, the government is trying
to disarm the PKK by using an article in the penal code. It does
not seem right to oppose this effort before seeing the actual
results. And it does not seem right to denounce the DTP by using
'the PKK is in the parliament' rhetoric. Can we let the government
and all political parties work together on the goal of ending
terrorism? Otherwise, we may end up seeing another future statement
admitting the mistakes of the past."

Reactions to Gen. Buyukanit Remarks that the "PKK has been legalized
and politicized"
Mainstream Milliyet reports that an MHP Deputy Chairman criticized
General Buyukanit's remarks on the PKK and said "Buyukanit's words
were a confession of failure and, therefore, the TGS Chief should
resign. Mainstream Sabah writes that DTP party board member Ahmet
Turk said to journalists at a TUSIAD reception that "we entered the
parliament through democratic elections and our aim is to exert
efforts to decrease tensions in Turkey." Mainstream Hurriyet says
the DTP released a written statement calling Buyukanit's words
"unfortunate" and added the comments will not effect the court case
on the closure of the DTP.

NGOs Call for Individual-Oriented New Constitution
Liberal Radikal and leftist-nationalist Cumhuriyet report that the

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'Constitution Conciliation Platform' criticized the AKP's
constitutional draft and said that the NGO's views should be
considered as the new constitution is prepared. Meanwhile, speaking
at his party's Central Administrative Board, CHP leader Deniz Baykal
said that 'the country is being pulled towards religious hegemony.
The AKP government presents the new constitutional draft as a
'civilian constitution,' but it will be the last stop in the
establishment of a state of religion."

They also carried the communiqu issued by the Platform which is
composed of a vast variety of Turkish NGOs, including businessmen,
women rights and bar associations. The communiqu calls for an
'individual oriented' new constitution with gender equality.
Positive discrimination for women is also encouraged. 'Any
limitation on freedoms and rights must be defined in clear terms
while parliamentary immunity should be limited to speech' the
communiqu suggested. The Constitution Platform plans to introduce
its recommendations to the parliament soon.

Turkey-EU/Sarkozy

Mainstream Hurriyet and Milliyet report that, at a TUSIAD reception,
PM Erdogan criticized the EU and French President Sarkozy for
creating problems in Turkey's EU bid and said "Mr. Sarkozy has one
attitude in bilateral talks, and adopts another the minute I turn my
back."

TV Highlights
NTV

Domestic News

The Court of Appeals General Council approved expulsion of Mustafa
Sarigul from the CHP

Canadian specialist Dr. Max Vermij says that the plane crash in
Isparta does not look like an accident caused by pilot error

The Turkish ISAF mission returned home from Afghanistan after
handing over command to Italy

A lieutenant doctor went missing during military operations in
Sirnak


International News

Three car bombs exploded in southern Iraq on Wednesday killing 40
people and injuring 125

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks start after nearly seven years

Lebanon explosion kills military general

Al-Qaeda claims bloody Algiers bombing.

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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