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WikiLeaks: 2007-01-10: 07ANKARA47: Ankara Media Reaction Report

by WikiLeaks. 07ANKARA47: January 10, 2007.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 08:25 PM UT


Viewing cable 07ANKARA47, ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ANKARA47 2007-01-10 15:06 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ankara
VZCZCXRO4399
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0047/01 0101506
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101506Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0530
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC//PA
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 7718
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1903
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1509
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 5659
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5389
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2042
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 000047 
 
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 
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2007 
 
 
In Today's Papers 
 
Erdogan Expresses Concern over Iraq, Kirkuk 
Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Vatan, Radikal, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak 
and others report Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members 
of his ruling AK Party in parliament on Tuesday that Turkey could 
not be a bystander in the face of Iraqi Kurdish attempts to take 
control of the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.   Erdogan 
warned that the sectarian fighting in Iraq could harm the wider 
region.  "I have to make this warning against those seeking a 
fragmentation of Iraq and a fait accompli in Kirkuk," Erdogan 
emphasized.  He underlined that the results of the upcoming Kirkuk 
referendum this year was "already obvious."  Erdogan said Turkey 
would "not let Kirkuk become another Nagorno Karabakh."  The PM also 
noted concern that the execution of Saddam Hussein will lead to 
dangerous polarizations in Iraq and the Arab world.  Vatan says 
Erdogan gave "six warnings to President Bush," listing them as "the 
territorial integrity of Iraq must be protected; oil resources must 
be controlled by the Iraqi central government; a referendum for the 
fate of Kirkuk won't work under the current demographic composition; 
the rights of the Turkmen must be protected; the PKK must be 
destroyed; and some of the Iraqi constitution provisions which pave 
the way for separatism must be scrapped."  Erdogan said he will meet 
with the Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi in Istanbul on 
Saturday to discuss these issues. 
 
Kirkuk Meeting to be Held in Ankara 
Cumhuriyet reports that on January 15, the Turkish Global Strategy 
Institute will hold a meeting, "Kirkuk: 2007," in Ankara with the 
participation of all Iraqi Sunni and Shiite groups.  The Turkish 
Foreign Ministry (MFA) had earlier objected to the meeting due to 
the "sensitive nature" of the issue.  The Muqtada al-Sadr group, The 
Iraqi Cause Party, Iraq Reconciliation Front, the Iraqi Islamic 
Revolution High Council, Iraq National Dialog Front, the Iraqi 
Turkmen Front, Turkmeneli Party, Iraq Islam Party, the Kurdish 
Islamic Union, Iraq Republicans Union, the Yezidis Movement, and the 
Assyrian Democratic Movement have been invited to the gathering. 
 
29 Turks Killed in Plane Crash near Baghdad 
All papers report 34 passengers were killed on Tuesday when their 
Moldovan Antonov-26 plane crashed while trying to land in foggy 
conditions near Balad, north of Baghdad.  The plane, which took off 
from the southern Turkish city of Adana, had been carrying about 35 
people, including 30 construction workers of the Turkish 
construction company Kulak.  The Turkish Foreign Ministry (MFA) 
officials announced there were 29 Turkish workers and a US national 
aboard the plane and a crew of three from Moldova, Russia, and 
Ukraine.  An Iraqi transport ministry official said the crash 
resulted from a "technical failure." 
 
Yeni Safak says the plane ignored the warnings of the flight control 
officials at Baghdad airport and attempted to land despite heavy 
fog.  Aksam calls the outdated Antonov cargo plane a "flying coffin" 
and claims Americans did not allow the plane to land due to heavy 
flight traffic in and out of the airport.  Sabah reports an Iraqi 
terror group, Iraq Islam Army, reportedly claimed they downed the 
plane with a missile, but the allegations have not been confirmed by 
the US Embassy or the Turkish Foreign Ministry. 
 
European Court Fines Turkey for Violating Minority Rights 
All papers report that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has 
convicted Turkey for violating the property rights of its non-Muslim 
minorities.  The ECHR ordered on Tuesday the Turkish state to return 
within three months the property of a Greek foundation running a 
Greek high school in Istanbul or pay a compensation of 910,000 
Euros.  In 1997 a Greek foundation in Istanbul brought the dispute 
to the ECHR and in September 2005 the foundation demanded the return 
of the assets seized by the state.  The foundation accuses Turkey of 
violating property rights defended by the European Human Rights 
 
ANKARA 00000047  002 OF 003 
 
 
Agreement, of violating Lausanne Treaty provisions, and of 
discrimination.  Yeni Safak reports Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif 
Sener said that the ECHR ruling against Turkey would be meaningless 
if the foundation law is passed by the Turkish Parliament without 
delay.  Papers comment that if not appealed, the verdict will set an 
example for another 900 assets which have been asked to be returned 
to minorities. 
 
Lokmaci Footbridge Finally Pulled Down 
All papers:  Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) began 
demolishing the footbridge yesterday over Ledra Street in order to 
open a new crossing with Greek Cypriot Administration, despite some 
reservations by the Turkish Military.  Milliyet quotes TRNC 
"President" Talat as saying that "the esteemed commander (meaning 
TGS Chief General Buyukanit, who opposed the removal of the 
overpass) is far away in Ankara, while I am here everyday. The 
struggle is a struggle of image.  I know the feelings of the 
public."  Vatan reports that while the demolition continued Talat 
told BRT TV that the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the area was 
out of the question.  Zaman quotes PM Erdogan as saying that the 
"TRNC is a separate state and that Turkey was respecting the 
decisions of TRNC."  Yeni Safak says that Greek Cypriot Leader 
Papadopulos has been cornered as a result of the Turkish moves. 
 
PKK Confession from US 
Zaman, Milliyet, Bugun and others:   Speaking at a seminar arranged 
by the Turkish-American Council, on Turkey-US relation, US Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza said that the US should take 
more measures against the PKK in Northern Iraq.  He said that the US 
shares information with Turkey but the US should do more against the 
PKK.  Bryza stressed that the strategic importance of Turkey for the 
US stems from its being a secular democracy.  For us, Turkey's 
secular democracy is very strong.  There are lots of tension and 
debates in Turkey.  Some can call all these as cacophony or noise, 
but, this is called democracy, added Bryza. 
 
Editorial Commentary on Iraq, Somalia 
Speculating on President Bush's new Iraq strategy, Ergin Yildizoglu 
argues in the nationalist-leftist Cumhuriyet: "There is no way 
currently for the US to exit from Iraq.  First of all, the US 
military presence in Iraq is a part of US long-term geopolitical 
interests.  Moreover, the US strongly believes that leaving Iraq 
right now will increase the Iranian influence over the entire 
region.  This approach is shared by the Sunni Arab states as well as 
Israel. Given these facts, the US has to find a way to make Iranian 
influence ineffective before taking any step toward an Iraqi pull 
out.  Obviously any exit for the US forces goes through Iran. 
President Bush is expected to announce the new Iraq policy.  It 
looks like increasing the number of troops in Iraq will be the first 
thing on his list.  The military build-up as well as growing 
American presence in Iraq might be the early signals for a 
comprehensive operation against Iran." 
 
Commenting on the US action in Somalia, Sami Kohen writes in the 
mainstream Milliyet: "The US follows a unilateral approach by 
bombing Somalia using the argument that it is chasing terrorists. 
The legality of this military action needs to be debated, but the 
fact of the matter is that the Bush administration has just opened 
another battle front in Somalia.  There are two reasons for the US 
bombing in Somalia.  The first, as Washington declared, is to chase 
and destroy terrorists.  Whether the US operation managed to get the 
terrorists remains to be seen.  The second purpose has a more 
political nature.  The US hopes to weaken the radical Islamists and 
let the current regime control the country.  The main issue here is 
whether such military operations can be successful in eliminating 
terrorist threats?  Like Afghanistan, certain short term goals can 
be achieved, but achievement in the long run is rather questionable. 
 Observers are already warning that Somalia is about to turn 
Iraq-like.  There are reports that the Sudanese Islamic Courts 
Council is preparing to launch suicide attacks.  All of that means 
 
ANKARA 00000047  003 OF 003 
 
 
Somalia is becoming another problem in the international agenda 
following Afghanistan and Iraq." 
 
 
TV Highlights 
NTV (6 A.M.) 
 
Domestic News 
 
- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will travel to Turkey in 
February as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Recep 
Tayyip Erdogan.  Olmert was originally scheduled to travel to Turkey 
in August, but the war in Lebanon forced the PM to put off the 
visit. 
 
- The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it had submitted to Iraq in 2005 
and 2006 two formal requests for the extradition of PKK leaders such 
as Murat Karayilan. 
 
- Foreign Minister Gul accused Greece of trying to assimilate the 
Turkish minority in Western Thrace, whose rights are "far below the 
EU standards." 
 
- British mobile phone company Vodafone will invest USD 1 billion in 
Turkey over the coming two years to strengthen its infrastructure 
across the country. 
 
International News 
 
- Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said he expected 
important developments concerning the recognition of Armenian 
genocide claims in France and the US in 2007. 
 
- Far-right European lawmakers have managed to join together in the 
European Parliament, getting enough members to form a political 
group entitling them to EU funds. 
 
- President Bush's draft new Iraq strategy calls for an increase of 
US troops in Iraq before February. 
 
- Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki said the US ambassador in Baghdad 
had requested a two-week postponement of the execution of Saddam 
Hussein. 
 
- Hamas accused Fatah of collaborating with Israel and the US to 
oust the Palestinian government. 
 
- The United States, Ethiopia, the Somali government and Kenya 
continue land, sea and air operations against al-Qaeda operatives 
and Somalia's defeated Islamist militias. 
 
 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/ 
 
MCELDOWNEY

 



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