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Cablegate: Istanbul Synagogue Attack: Press Coverage

P 081433Z SEP 86
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 00 ANKARA 09130

USINFO FOR P/M; EU; VOA-SMITH

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PTER TU
SUBJECT: ISTANBUL SYNAGOGUE ATTACK: PRESS COVERAGE

1. THIS MESSAGE INCLUDES USIS CURRENT MEDIA REACTION.

2. SUMMARY: IN PRESS COVERAGE, EDITORIALS AND PUBLIC
STATEMENTS TURKISH REACTION TO THE BOMBING OF NEVE
SHALOM SYNAGOGUE IN ISTANBUL HAS BEEN ONE OF SHOCK AND
HORROR - AND CAUTION. THE PRIME MINISTER "DAMNED" THE
ATTACK AS "BACKSTABBING," BUT THEN DECLARED THAT NO
EVIDENCE LINKED IT TO LIBYA AND WARNED ISRAEL AGAINST
RETALIATION. THE PRESS HIGHLIGHTED CONDEMNATIONS OF
THE BOMBING BY THE PLO, LIBYA AND IRAN. SPECULATION IS
RIFE, BUT FACTS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. END SUMMARY

3. PRESS COVERAGE OF THE ISTANBUL NEVE SHALOM
SYNAGOGUE ATTACK BEGAN ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 WITH FEW
FACTS OTHER THAN THOSE REPORTED IN THE WORLD PRESS.
AMID BLOODY PHOTOGRAPHS OF DISMEMBERED CORPSES, PAPERS
HEADLINED THEIR STORIES "LAKE OF BLOOD," "MASSACRE,"
"MONSTROSITY," ETC. THE TERRORISTS WERE IDENTIFIED AS
"ARABS" BY 17-YEAR OLD SURVIVOR GABRIEL SHAUL, WHO SAID
HE HEARD THEM SPEAKING ARABIC. "MILLIYET" MADE THE
FOLLOWING SPECULATION: "ACCORDING TO THE INITIAL
EVIDENCE, THE ATTACK ON THE SYNAGOGUE MIGHT BE AN
EXTENSION OF THE EVENTS IN KARACHI. THE FACT THAT BOTH
OCCURRENCES USED THE SAME METHOD OF OPERATION
REINFORCES THIS OPINION. EXPERTS ON TERRORISM DISCOUNT
THE POLICE'S BELIEF THAT THE ATTACK WAS CARRIED OUT
SOLELY BY TWO SUICIDE COMMANDOS." THE PAPER ALSO
CARRIED A STATEMENT BY INTERIOR MINISTER YILDIRIM
AKBULUT THAT, "THE PRAYER HALL WAS 20 METERS BY 30.
THE TYPE OF BOMB THE TERRORISTS USED HAS AN EFFECTIVE
RANGE OF 50 METERS. THEREFORE I CAN SAY THAT THE
TERRORISTS CERTAINLY CAME WITH THE AIM OF MOUNTING A
SUICIDE ATTACK." ALL PAPERS NOTED THAT SATURDAY SAW
THE FIRST RELIGIOUS SERVICES HELD IN THE SYNAGOGUE
AFTER SIX MONTHS OF RENOVATION.

4. WITH THE FIRST NEWS CAME THE FIRST REACTIONS.
AFTER AN EMERGENCY CABINET MEETING, THE GOVERNMENT
ANNOUNCED ITS CONDEMNATION OF THE ACTION. PRESIDENT
KENAN EVREN STATED, "AS A NATION WE REACT WITH PROFOUND
ABHORRENCE." PRIME MINISTER TURGUT OZAL SENT A MESSAGE
TO TURKEY'S CHIEF RABBI DAVID ASSEO REPORTEDLY
BEGINNING, "TURKEY VIOLENTLY DAMNS (SIC) THIS
BACKSTABBING ATTACK," AND ANNOUNCED, "IT IS
UNACCEPTABLE TO DO SUCH A THING TO THOSE PRAYING IN THE
HOUSE OF GOD." SHP CHAIRMAN ERDAL INONU CALLED THE
EVENT "HORRIBLE," AND WARNED THE GOVERNMENT TO "ACT
SERIOUSLY," AS "CONDEMNATION IS NOT ENOUGH." FORMER
PRIMIN ECEVIT IS QUOTED IN ALL PAPERS AS SAYING, "JUST
AS THOSE WHO CARRIED OUT THIS ACT HAVE NO RELATION TO
HUMANITY, THEY ALSO HAVE NO RELATION TO ISLAM, FOR
ISLAM DICTATES RESPECT FOR ALL RELIGIONS."

5. SUNDAY'S "CUMHURIYET" INCLUDED A PAGE-1 STORY
ENTITLED "PLO CONDEMNS." PLO ANKARA REPRESENTATIVE ABU
FIRAS RELEASED A STATEMENT FROM PLO NUMBER 2 MAN ABU
IYAD CONDEMNING THE ACTION AND ADDING, "THIS SORT OF
TERRORIST ACTION BENEFITS NO ONE BUT THE ZIONISTS."
THE PAPER ALSO CARRIED SHIMON PERES' HOPE THAT "THE
TURKISH GOVERNMENT WILL DO ALL IT MUST TO FIND THE
KILLERS AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE." MEANWHILE, FOREIGN
MINISTRY OFFICIALS WERE QUOTED IN "HURRIYET" AS SAYING
THAT THERE WERE THREE POSSIBLE MOTIVES FOR THE ATTACK:
1) A REACTION TO TURKEY'S IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH
ISRAEL; 2) THE ISLAMIC CIHAD TRYING TO SPREAD
INSTABILITY; AND 3) OPPOSITION TO ARAFAT'S SOFTENING
THE PATRIARCHATE." OKTAY EKSI, SEPT. 8 "HURRIYET":
THESE ACTS ARE WELL PLANNED, AND BEHIND THE PLANNERS
THERE ARE GREAT POWERS. LOTS OF MONEY IS SPENT.
WITHOUT MAKING ANY CONNECTION TO THIS LAST EVENT, LET
ME SAY THAT JUST FOR THIS KIND OF ACTION THE CIA SPENT
$500 MILLION IN 1986... THE SYNAGOGUE HAD BEEN CLOSED
FOR SIX MONTHS; THE FIRST IMPORTANT PRAYER AFTER THE
RENOVATION WAS THAT DAY. IN OTHER WORDS, SOMEONE HAD
FOLLOWED DEVELOPMENTS AT THE SYNAGOGUE CLOSELY."

10. OTHER MEDIA REACTION:

-- HALUK ULMAN OF HURRIYET (CIRC. 588,490 - MASS
APPEAL/INDEPENDENT), "THE LOGIC BEHIND THE MASSACRE":
" ... IN OTHER WORDS, THE RECENT U.S. CLAMOR AGAINST
LIBYA AIMS FOR 'DETERRENCE.' BUT EVIDENTLY IT IS FAR
FROM BEING SUCCESSFUL. BECAUSE, AS IT WAS DEMONSTRATED
ONCE MORE, AND CONTRARY TO WHAT THE REAGAN
ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES, LIBYA DOES NOT HAVE THE
PRESUMED LEVEL OF INFLUENCE ON MIDDLE EASTERN TERRORIST
ORGANIZATIONS.... ACCORDING TO INFORMATION RECEIVED,
THE PERPETRATORS OF BOTH THE PAN AM AND NEVE SHALOM
INCIDENTS ARE SAID TO HAVE BEEN MEMBERS OF
ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN LEBANON. ONE OF THE REASONS
BEHIND THE FAILURE TO CURB VIOLENT INCIDENTS IN THE
MIDDLE EAST IS THE EXISTENCE OF THE PALESTINE PROBLEM,
AND THE SECOND ONE IS THE CHAOS IN LEBANON. ISRAEL HAD
TRIED TO FILL THAT VOID BY INVADING SOUTHERN LEBANON AND
TRYING TO ESTABLISH A PRO-ISRAELI ADMINISTRATION
THERE. BUT IT FAILED, DESPITE THE SUPPORT FROM THE
U.S., AND WITHDREW. LET'S SEE WHAT THE ISRAELI
REACTION WILL BE. IT WOULD NOT BE A SURPRISE IF
LEBANON-ISRAEL RELATIONS BECOME MUCH MORE NOISY
THAN AMERICAN-LIBYAN RELATIONS."

-- ZAFER ATAY OF TERCUMAN (CIRC. 273,364
-CONSERVATIVE), "THOSE BEHIND THE TERRORISM":
" ... IRAN SUPPORTS SHIITE-ORIGINATED
TERRORISM.... SYRIA IS THE GUARDIAN OF THE
SEPARATIST BANDITS, ASALA, ISLAMIC JIHAD; AND ABU
NIDAL.... THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT LIBYA IS ALSO IN
THIS.... I WOULD LIKE TO BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION
THAT ALL THE RECENT TERRORIST INCIDENTS HAVE A
CONNECTION TO THE GREEK CYPRIOT SECTOR."

-- TEOMAN EREL OF MILLIYET (CIRC.
255,822 -LIBERAL), "ARE WE READY FOR THE
CRISIS?": " .... IT SEEMS THAT THE PERPETRATORS OF
THIS INHUMAN ATTACK RECEIVED SUPPORT FROM
MYSTERIOUS HELPERS LIVING IN TURKEY. HOW DID THE
TERRORISTS KNOW THAT THE SYNAGOGUE WOULD BE OPEN ON
THE DAY OF THEIR ATTACK AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF
REPAIR? ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO TRY TO COVER UP THE
WHOLE INCIDENT BY SAYING THAT 'THEY COMMITTED
SUICIDE, THERE WERE ONLY TWO PERSONS, AND ALSO
NOTHING MORE WAS FOUND,' OR HAVE THOSE PEOPLE WHO
USED TO TELL THE STORY THAT TERRORISM WOULD ONLY
COME FROM THE LEFT, THOSE WHO BLAMED INONU AND THE
SHP EVEN FOR THE PKK (KURDISH SEPARATIST)
TERRORISM, FOUND THEMSELVES IN A DIFFICULT POSITION
NOW THAT THE NAME OF ISLAM IS INVOLVED IN AN
INCIDENT? ... WHILE WE ARE TRYING TO DOWNPLAY IT
FOR INTERNAL CONSUMPTION, WE MAY FOUND OURSELVES
IMMERSED IN THE 'NEW' MIDDLE EAST CRISIS."

- GUNERI CIVAOGLU OF GUNES (CIRC.
195,613 -POPULAR/FAMILY), "TERROR": " ... IT IS
WRONG TO SEE TERRORISM AND THE STRUGGLE BY THE
STATE AGAINST IT AS ONLY A MATTER OF 'WEAPONS' ...
AND 'POLICE MEASURES'. THIS KIND OF APPROACH CAN
ONLY BE IN THE SCRIPTS OF COWBOY FILMS.... THIS IS
A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL, BLOODY GAME, EXTENDING FROM
FULL-SCALE DEMOCRACY TO ALL THE YEARNING FOR
FREEDOMS ... ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, HOPES ... FOREIGN
CONNECTIONS AND AGENTS IN THE EVENTS ... ARMS
SMUGGLERS, MAFIA FATHERS, SECRET HANDS IN DRUG
TRAFFICKING."

-- HASAN CEMAL OF CUMHURIYET (CIRC. 112, 673 -LEFT
OF CENTER), "WHAT CAN BE DONE?": " ... WE SAY THAT
ALL THE POLITICAL POWERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONVERGE
ON THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR ON THE ISSUE OF
TERRORISM; THEY SHOULD BELIEVE IN THE NECESSITY FOR
SOLIDARITY IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST TYRANNY AND
VIOLENCE; THEY SHOULD START A REAL, CONSTRUCTIVE
DIALOGUE AMONG THEMSELVES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE."

-- ERGUN BALCI OF CUMHURIYET, "SYNAGOGUE
MASSACRE": " ... THE ATTACKS ON PAN AM AND THE
SYNAGOGUE IN ISTANBUL SEEM TO HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO
LEAD TO SERIOUS DEVELOPMENTS.... THE BOMBING OF
LIBYA BY THE U.S. MAY BE CONSIDERED CERTAIN IF
EVIDENCE OF LIBYAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE AFFAIR IS
FOUND. AS A MATTER OF FACT, WASHINGTON DOES NOT
NEED EVIDENCE LIKE THIS IF IT HAD ALREADY DECIDED
TO BOMB LIBYA.... ISRAEL MAY RETALIATE AGAINST
SYRIA IN SIMILAR FASHION IF IT FOUND PROOF OF
SYRIAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE SYNAGOGUE AFFAIR. IN
PARALLEL WITH THESE DEVELOPMENTS, INTENSIFICATION
OF ATTEMPTS TO PUSH TURKEY INTO A CRISIS AND TO
PULL TURKEY AND THE ARAB COUNTRIES AND PLO FURTHER
APART MAY BE EXPECTED. A SERIES OF GLOOMY
DEVELOPMENTS IS TAKING PLACE. AND THIS IS ONLY THE
BEGINNING."

-- MEHMET BARLAS OF MILLIYET REPORTED ON AN INTERVIEW
WITH PRIME MINISTER OZAL IN A COLUMN ENTITLED "THE AIM
IS TO PULL US INTO THE MIDDLE-EASTERN CRISIS," IN WHICH
THE PRIME MINISTER IS REPORTED TO HAVE SAID THE
FOLLOWING: " ... IF SOME STATES SUPPORT AND INCITE
TERRORISM, THIS MUST NOT BE TOLERATED. TURKEY HAS
DECLARED ON MANY OCCASIONS THAT IT WILL NOT TOLERATE
THE ACTIONS OF THOSE STATES--IF THERE ARE ANY--WHICH
PERPETRATE TERRORISM ON TURKISH SOIL AND DIRECT IT AT
TURKISH CITIZENS. FURTHERMORE, THOSE CIRCLES WHICH
HOPE TO PULL TURKEY INTO THE CONFLICTS OF THE
MIDDLE-EAST WILL CERTAINLY BE DISAPPOINTED.... TURKEY
WILL NOT FEEL DISPLEASURE IF MORE THAN ONE STATE, IN
LINE WITH THE UNITED NATIONS' PRINCIPLES AND BASED ON
THE RIGHT OF SELF DEFENSE, CHOOSE TO ACT AGAINST THOSE
STATES WHICH SUPPORT AND INCITE TERRORISM".


STRAUSZ-HUPE

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