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Cablegate: Mgpko2: Turkey Condemns Bhutto Assassination,

VZCZCXRO1223
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #3052 3621531
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281531Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4796
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 0008
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 6154

UNCLAS ANKARA 003052

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PK TU
SUBJECT: MGPKO2: TURKEY CONDEMNS BHUTTO ASSASSINATION,
URGES UNITY

REF: SECSTATE 17045

1. (U) Turkey has strongly condemned the assassination of
former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto and called for unity in
the face of terrorism and extremism. In its December 27
statement, the MFA greeted the news of Bhutto's death with
great sorrow and went on to state, "There is no doubt that
these heinous attacks aim at dragging Pakistan into chaos and
instability. We believe the Pakistani people, by acting with
common sense and reason, will not allow these terrorist acts
to achieve their goals of destroying the democratization
process and the basis for reconciliation in the
country...Despite the rightful feelings of anger and fury,
all political groups' joining forces, first and foremost the
Pakistan Peoples Party, against our common enemies of
terrorism and extremism, is of vital importance and priority
for the well-being of Pakistan...Turkey will continue to
support and contribute to the establishment of peace and
stability in Pakistan through reconciliation."

2. (U) President Gul, who had recently met with Bhutto and
other opposition leaders during an early December official
visit to Islamabad, expressed his deep sorrow and urged the
Pakistani people to act in the best interests of their own
country. Both he and PM Erdogan called President Musharraf
to convey their condolences. PM Erdogan reportedly also
called Bhutto's husband.

3. (U) Bhutto's assassination resulted in a rare moment of
political unity in Ankara. The Turkish parliament issued a
joint declaration signed by all political parties stating the
attack was aimed at the unity and stability of "brotherly"
Pakistan; Turkish MPs wholeheartedly felt the sorrow of the
Pakistani people. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)
representative Nurettin Canikli added Pakistan was a country
that had always supported Turkey without expecting anything
in return, and reiterated support for Pakistan's unity.

4. (U) While condemning the assassination and noting the
risks to Turkey from broader instability in the region, a
number of leading Turkish columnists quickly drew lessons for
Turkish democracy from the tragic event. Murat Yetkin,
writing in liberal "Radikal," argued that Turkey was the only
example of a pluralistic democracy in the Muslim world, no
matter how fragile, thanks to secularism. Mainstream
"Milliyet" columnist Fikra Bila opined that the Pakistan
example proved secularism is vitally important in
democracies. Ergun Babahan, in mainstream "Sabah," noted
developments in Pakistan allow Turks to have a greater
appreciation for the virtue of democracy. Mainstream
"Hurriyet" writer Oktay Eksi drew a lesson for Turkey,
contrasting the Indian and Pakistani experiences since
independence, and suggesting that India's embrace of
democracy has been the key to its economic development and
political stability.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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