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Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 003257

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, MAY 16, 2003

THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
THEMES:


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
--------------------


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Springtime again in Turkey, U.S. relations - Turkiye
Bush vows support for Cyprus, Erdogan for Israel - Sabah
EU sanctions on TRNC to be removed - Hurriyet
Athens, Ankara cooperation to lift sanctions on TRNC - Aksam
Verheugen: 2007 not likely for Turkey's EU accession - Vatan
Videotape shows execution with bomb in Saddam's Iraq -
Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
U.S. issues warm messages for Turkey - Radikal
U.S. has warned Saudis beforehand - Radikal
Rumsfeld: Al-Qaida in Iran - Cumhuriyet
Shiites rally against U.S. in Baghdad - Yeni Safak
Mass grave of thousands of Kurds near Baghdad - Cumhuriyet
U.S.: PKK terror not our priority - Cumhuriyet
Israel unhappy with Mideast roadmap - Zaman
Putin considers amnesty for Chechen fighters - Zaman
Parliament of Europe to increase financial aid to Turkey's
Human Rights Assoc. - Zaman
Greek tourists to Turkey increase by 42 percent - Cumhuriyet


FINANCIAL JOURNALS
TOBB: Turkish Trade Center in Washington this year -
Finansal Forum
Turkey insists on QIZ with U.S. - Dunya


BRIEFING


U.S. -Turkey ties warming: Dailies believe strain between
U.S. and Turkey to be gradually reduced, particularly after
the `warm' exchange of messages between President Bush and
Prime Minister Erdogan. The Turkish leader called the
President the other day to offer condolences for the Riyadh
bombings. According to all papers Bush said that the U.S.
would cooperate with Turkey in Iraq's rebuilding and asked
for support for the Mideast road map, while Erdogan,
agreeing, vowed to send Foreign Minister Gul to Israel. The
rapprochement was further strengthened when National
Security Advisor Rice stressed the strategic alliance
between the two countries, reports note. U.S. officials
bear in mind Turkey's concern over the security situation in
Northern Iraq, and vowed to eliminate the terrorist threat
in the region. Nevertheless, papers report that the U.S.
has told Ankara that the struggle against PKK/KADEK terror
was not among immediate American priorities. Meanwhile,
"Yeni Safak" reports Deputy SecDefense Wolfowitz would pay a
`make up' visit to Turkish peacekeeping troops during his
trip to Bosnia Herzegovina on Friday.
Deputy Treasury Secretary John Taylor: Most dailies and TV
news report that Deputy Secretary of Treasury Taylor said
that negotiation over the $1 billion grant for Turkey will
be discussed immediately after the conclusion of the 5th IMF
review. Taylor noted Turkey's situation would be taken up
at the upcoming G-8 finance ministers' meeting in France.
Taylor is reported to have said that Iraq's reconstruction
process will create job opportunities for Turkish
companies,.


Minister Babacan to Bilderberg meetings: "Hurriyet" reports
State Minister for economy, Ali Babacan would attend the
Bilderberg meetings in Paris on Friday. The paper reminds
readers that Islamists have always fired strong criticism at
political figures such as ANAP's former leader Mesut Yilmaz
and social democrat Erdal Inonu participating at the `summit
of Zionists.' Paul Wolfowitz will be the `surprise' guest
at the meetings, according to Hurriyet. Meanwhile, the
ruling AKP deputies and cabinet members will gather at a
resort in Antalya on Friday for a three-day consultation
process before the party congress in August, papers report.
Commentators point to growing disagreement among the members
of AKP, which they regard as a `patchwork' instead of a
disciplined political party. On the other hand, papers
report Foreign Minister Gul as saying that AKP would apply
for membership to the Christian Democrat Party's wing of the
Parliament of Europe (ironic for an "Islamist" party).


Edelman - U.S. envoy to Ankara: A "Sabah" editorial says
Eric Edelman, advisor to Dick Cheney, and an expert on the
Middle East and Russia, will be assigned as U.S. Ambassador
to Ankara later this summer. Edelman is among the
`Preventive War' theoreticians like Wolfowitz and Khalilzad.
The article opines that Washington is sending a `hawk' to
Ankara to contribute to the restructuring of the Middle
East.


EDITORIAL OPINION


a) Aftermath of Riyadh Bombings
b) Turkish-Kurdish Issues


"Return of Al Qaida"
Erdal Guven commented in liberal-intellectual Radikal
(5/16): "Despite all the indications and speculations about
`Al Qaida is finished', the recent Riyadh bombings seems to
prove what American expert Peter Bergen was saying. Bergen,
a known Al Qaida expert believes that the organization is
more of an ideology than a network. . Al Qaida is not only
targeting the US, but also the pro-American regimes in the
region. Thus it comes as no surprise that Saudi Arabia
becomes a frequent target. . There is a lesson to learn from
the Riyadh bombings. Al Qaida, as an ideology, is not going
to be flexible in negotiation, for making concessions or
reconciliation. Yet the antidote for Al Qaida will come
through the rapid implementation of political, economic and
social reforms in all of the Arab regimes, particularly the
Saudi regime. Otherwise the termionation of Al Qaida will
remain an impossible goal. . In the meantime, the big
picture, i.e. Palestine-Israel issue, must not be ignored.
If the issue remains unsettled, we will see the return of Al
Qaida many times."
"Cold war in northern Iraq"
Zeynep Gurcanli noted in tabloid Star (5/16): "Washington
stated the need for humanitarian aid in Iraq and invited
Turkish NGOs to become involved. Ankara welcomed this
message and began working for cooperation with the US.
However, the Kurdish groups in northern Iraq are very much
occupied in finding ways of getting Turkey out of the area.
The Kurdish Parliament in the area recently adopted a
decision to call for the dissolution of the `Peace
Monitoring Force' which protected Kurdish groups since 1996.
. This group was initiated by Turkey and kept 800 Turkish
soldiers on duty. Assyrians and Turkomans also served in
this group. It remains to be seen what would be
Washington's reaction to this unanimous decision by the
Kurdish parliament. At the moment, Ankara is asking
Washington for the continuation of the mission, while the
Kurdish groups are pressuring for the dissolution. It
seems the `cold war' in northern Iraq is to continue, at
least for the foreseeable future."


PEARSON

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