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WikiLeaks: 2007-01-05: 07ANKARA20: Ankara Media Reaction Report

by WikiLeaks. 07ANKARA20: January 05, 2007.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM UT


Viewing cable 07ANKARA20, ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ANKARA20 2007-01-05 14:35 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ankara
VZCZCXRO0609
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0020/01 0051435
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051435Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0488
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7705
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1879
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1488
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5650
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5380
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2033
RUEUITH/DET 1 39LG ANKARA TU
RHMFIUU/USDOCO 6ATAF IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39OSS INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 523 IZMIR TU
RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUEUITH/AFLO ANKARA TU
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000020 
 
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 
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2007 
 
 
  In Today's Papers 
 
  Erdogan on Turkey's 'Kurdish Issue' 
  Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak and 
others report that speaking with Turkish journalists during his 
visit to Lebanon over the weekend, Prime Minister Erdogan said 
Turkey had "no Kurdish problem," but a "problem of terrorism." 
Erdogan emphasized that when he talked about Turkey's "Kurdish 
problem" earlier, his government was working to improve the social 
and economic structure of the mainly Kurdish southeast region. 
Investments were intensified in the region, Erdogan said, with 4,500 
trillion Turkish Lira spent for infrastructure and superstructure 
reconstruction.  Such measures have helped diminish the problems of 
Kurdish people or people coming from different ethnic groups in the 
region, Erdogan maintained. 
 
  'Multilingual' Kurdish Municipality 
  Milliyet, Cumhuriyet and Radikal report that Sur Municipality in 
the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir is to launch "multilingual 
municipality services" in Kurdish, Syriac, and English alongside 
Turkish.  "Turkey is a multilingual, multicultural, and 
multireligious country; I hope that our implementation will serve as 
a model for the Parliament," said Mayor Abdullah Demirbas of the 
mainly Kurdish party DTP.  The Interior Ministry has sent inspectors 
to investigate the situation. 
 
  Fight against the PKK 
  Hurriyet and Milliyet report that recently Turkey gave the US 
information regarding the whereabouts of two PKK leaders in northern 
Iraq, but the US disregarded the intelligence.  Hurriyet says that 
the PKK's Murat Karayilan and Cemil Bayik went to a hospital for a 
health check in Irbil, the northern Iraqi city controlled by Massoud 
Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP.)  Americans ignored 
Turkish officils' demand that the two terrorists be handed over to 
Turkey, angering Ankara.  The Turkish special anti-terror envoy, 
retired general Edip Baser conveyed to his counterpart Joseph 
Ralston uneasiness over seeing no progress in cutting the financial 
sources of the PKK in Europe at a December 11 meeting in Stuttgart, 
according to Hurriyet.  Baser reportedly told his aides that he had 
a timetable for action, and that he would have to resign if Turkey's 
demands are not met within the limits of the timetable. 
 
  Meanwhile, Milliyet reports that since 2003, only ten percent of 
the US-sent 500,000 weapons had been registered in Iraq.  Some 
14,000 RPGs, MP-5 automatic guns, M-4 sniper rifles, and AK-47 
Kalashnikovs went missing.  Turkish police contacts with the Air 
Force Office of Special Investigations in Ankara made the Pentagon 
launch an investigation into the issue, says Milliyet.  Prime 
Minister Erdogan had said during a recent trip to Lebanon that PKK 
terrorists had been captured in Turkey with US weapons. 
 
  Editorial Commentary on Special Envoys for Countering the PKK 
  Oktay Eksi argues in the mass appeal Hurriyet that the PKK problem 
is one Turkey should resolve on its own: "Don't you think that it is 
just about time to give up on believing the never ending story of US 
helping us to counter terrorism.  If we can overcome that 
unrealistic approach we can move on and take action on our own.  The 
recent complaint from Prime Minister Erdogan regarding the lack of 
action by the US is not news.  We have heard similar complaints at 
least 20-30 times before.  The US has not taken serious steps to 
catch the PKK leadership and to cut off the PKK financial links. 
That's how PM Erdogan is repeating himself as well as calling on the 
US to act within the spirit of the strategic partnership. We have 
been hearing the same type of promises and pledges from the US about 
the fight against PKK all the time.  Here are a few examples: 
Secretary Powell made a promise about that.  Condoleezza Rice 
 
SIPDIS 
promised even before she became the Secretary of State.  The US 
administration sent Frank Urbancic a while ago to Europe to work on 
cutting off the financial links.  In sum, the US authorities always 
said that they are taking the PKK issue seriously but that has 
 
ANKARA 00000020  002 OF 003 
 
 
remained only rhetoric.  The PKK coordinator job was created when 
Turkey started saying enough is enough.  It did not change anything 
either.  After six months of the coordinator business the result is 
an absolute zero.  At this point there is no use complaining about 
the US.  We should be able to stand up and tell our government: Stop 
lamenting. Just do whatever is needed." 
 
  Similarly, Fikret Bila observes in the mainstream Milliyet that 
the fight against terrorism is not something that can be 
"subcontracted" to others: "After PM Erdogan's negative remarks on 
the coordinator mechanism, we should take a close look at the 
situation.  Turkish envoy General Edip Baser should be the one who 
makes an assessment of the status of the fight against the PKK and 
decide whether the picture calls for his resignation or not.  There 
are reasons from both sides for the lack of success in the fight 
against terrorism.  The US was trying to prove that the PKK issue is 
being taken seriously and that's how the countering the PKK 
mechanism was established.  But Ankara, with expectations for 
concrete results, saw nothing but time-gaining tactics on the US 
side.  Regarding the appointment of an envoy, the position Edip 
Baser holds now, neither the Turkish President, nor the military and 
government seemed sympathetic to the idea.  In the end the 
appointment was done just to respond to the US move.  In other 
words, the PKK coordinator mechanism was like a still born baby to 
begin with.  The fact of the matter is that the fight against 
terrorism is supposed to be our job, not something that can be 
subcontracted to others.  It will be unrealistic to believe that the 
US will treat the PKK and Turkey's Kurdish issues independently from 
its current Kurdish policy in Iraq." 
 
  Energy Minister Guler on Iran's Suspension of Natural Gas to 
Turkey 
  All papers:  Energy Minister Hilmi Guler told reporters at a press 
conference that Iran's suspension of natural gas exports to Turkey 
will not create any crisis.  Minister Guler was quoted as saying 
"We've been experiencing problems arising from supply cuts in 
Iranian gas for 10-15 days but we made sure people wouldn't notice. 
We're meeting energy needs through the measures we're taking and 
internal balances.  There is no problem right now.  We keep in 
contact with Iranian officials and hope the problem will be solved 
by Saturday."  A high level Ministry official said that Turkey is 
transferring natural gas from Russia via the Western line and Blue 
Stream pipeline, from Iran via the Iranian line, and Liquid Natural 
Gas from Nigeria and Algeria.  Energy cuts from one of these 
channels will not affect us very much, said the same official. 
Under the gas contract signed by Iran and Turkey in 1996, Iran was 
obliged to supply three billion cubic meters to Turkey in the first 
year, with the volume rising to 10 billion cubic meters by 2007. 
Iranian officials say a natural gas refinery in the south of Iran 
will start operating by the end of this weekend and express hope 
that they will begin re-supplying natural gas to Turkey.  Yeni Safak 
reports that Turkey signed a secret natural gas agreement with Iraq 
ten years ago, under the Refahyol government through BOTAS.  Now, 
the Energy Ministry is having discussions with the governments of 
Iraq and the US regarding the exporting of Iraqi gas.  Within this 
framework, US Ambassador Ross Wilson met with Energy Minister Guler, 
two weeks ago and the first meeting of 2007 will take place in 
mid-January. 
 
 
  TV Highlights 
  NTV (6 a.m.) 
 
  Domestic News 
 
  - 62 Turks have died during the 'hajj' pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. 
 
 
  - The Turkish Parliament's justice commission has drafted a bill 
banning the carrying of licensed arms in the public. 
 
ANKARA 00000020  003 OF 003 
 
 
 
  - A university student wounded by a stray bullet during New Year 
celebrations in Istanbul died yesterday morning. 
 
  - The Financial Times says Turks are growing disillusioned with 
Europe. 
 
  - Turkey has missed its 5-percent yearend inflation target, but 
managed to keep inflation below ten percent. 
 
  International News 
 
  - Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh cut short a visit to 
Jordan when clashes resumed between the  rival Hamas and Fatah 
militias. 
 
  - Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar said he had not seen Osama 
bin Laden since the US-backed forces ousted the Taliban from 
Afghanistan in late 2001. 
 
  - California Democrat Nancy Pelosi has become the first woman to 
be elected speaker of the US House of Representatives. 
 
  - US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said US Navy forces 
have been deployed off the Somali coast to block the escape of 
members of the ousted extremist Islamist government. 
 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/ 
 
MCELDOWNEY

 



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