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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07ANKARA3017 2007-12-19 14:56:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY: MHP'S BRIEF MOMENT OF NOTORIETY

Tags:   PGOV PREL PTER TU 
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VZCZCXRO5745
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAK #3017 3531456
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191456Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4743
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RHMFISS/39ABG CP INCIRLIK AB TU
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/425ABG IZMIR TU//CC//
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
					C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 003017 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: MHP'S BRIEF MOMENT OF NOTORIETY

Classified By: Political Counselor Janice G. Weiner, for Reasons 1.4 (b
,d)



1. (C) SUMMARY. Opposition Nationalist Action Party (MHP)
members are quietly distancing themselves from the words of
their colleague in parliament, Osman Durmus, who sharply
criticized Chief of the General Staff General Buyukanit. MHP
will wisely keep itself at arm's length from direct attacks
against the military as it continues to negotiate a path made
more difficult by airstrikes that take the wind out of MHP's
most reliable sail. END SUMMARY.



2. (SBU) After a speech in which General Buyukanit claimed
that the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had become
legalized and politicized (through the entrance into
parliament of the Democratic Society Party, DTP), MHP MP
Osman Durmus declared the CHOD's words tantamount to a
confession of failure and demanded his resignation. MHP MP
(Ankara) Mehmet Ekinci echoed his challenge.



3. (C) Subsequently, party chairman Devlet Bahceli spoke
favorably of Buyukanit. Other MHP MPs have either supported
Buyukanit, or kept their dissatisfaction out of the public
eye. Izmir deputy Erdal Sipahi publicly suggested Turkey
should draw lessons from Buyukanit's speech. MHP Vice
Chairman Oktay Vural told us that "obviously" Durmus was not
speaking for the party; he pointed to Bahceli's speech as
evidence that MHP has no interest in having the CHOD resign.
He did not, however, expect Durmus to face any consequences.
Vural also implied he might have some reservations about
military leadership, but declined to go into specifics. He
emphasized the communication between his party and the
military is quite robust (even pointing out that a phone call
received during the meeting was from the military seeking MHP
views). Ankara deputy Tugrul Turkes (son of godfather of the
Turkish nationalist movement, Alparslan Turkes) laughed,
"Osman certainly wasn't speaking for me!" Turkes claims to
feel genuine unease regarding the personal security of MPs
while DTP and its "live bombs" are in parliament; he is
unambiguous that DTPers are terrorists as much as any PKK
member.



4. (C) COMMENT. Durmus sticking his neck out to that degree
is unusual for a party known for its high degree of internal
discipline. Although Durmus' party disavows his call for the
CHOD's resignation, the lack of consequences for him
indicates either that internal party business will remain
internal, or that his words were not entirely odious to the
party leadership. Durmus' statement helps MHP in two ways:
it recognizes that the terrorists are part of the military's
raison d'etre; and it links an admission of failure to a
position -- the TGS Chief -- that must remain infallible.
Security issues were one of the few topics on which MHP could
profitably profile itself against the ruling Justice and
Development Party (AKP). The weekend's airstrikes obviate
MHP's condemnation of inaction and have moved MHP back out of
the spotlight. END COMMENT.

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

WILSON