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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.




E.O. 12958: N/A
MONDAY, MAY 20, 2003




Al-Qaida turns to `easier' Western targets - Milliyet
CIA has predicted Al-Qaida attack in Africa - Milliyet 5/18
Amb. Logoglu: Turkish troops will remain in Northern Iraq -
WP: Kirkuk under Kurds' control - Turkiye
Ari Fleischer, bored, to leave White House - Milliyet
Barney Franks (D) urges Wolfowitz's resignation for Turkey
remarks - Sabah
U.S. Administration forgot Turkish Day - Aksam 5/19
Denktas: Papadopoulos would get me killed in 1967 - Milliyet
Berlusconi: EU must expand to comprise Turkey - Aksam 5/19

Casablanca shock - Radikal 5/18
Amb. Pearson: U.S. warm to Turkish officials' visit - Zaman
Shiites rally against U.S. in Baghdad - Cumhuriyet
MFA delegation feels pulse in N. Iraq - Radikal 5/19
Retired Iraqis queue for $40 - Radikal
Pentagon's $1 trillion deficit - Cumhuriyet
Israel besieges Palestine - Yeni Safak
Suicide attack nightmare in Israel - Radikal
Suicide attack in Jerusalem: Blood on road map - Cumhuriyet
Turkey opening doors to Greek Cypriots after 40 years -
Zaman 5/18
Syria closes Damascus offices of Palestinian organizations -
Cumhuriyet 5/18
EU to give Euro 30 million to Turkish Cypriots - Cumhuriyet

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U.S. loves `weak Dollar' policy - Dunya
Turkish firms negotiate Iraqi jobs w/ Bechtel - Finansal


U.S., Turkey relations: The U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued a
statement denying press reports about a `diplomatic crisis'
between U.S. and Turkey, Sunday papers write. Both Turkey
and U.S. are working to further improve ties, and Foreign
Minister Gul is welcome to visit Washington as are other
senior Turkish leaders, the statement said. Foreign
Minister Gul also denied reports about a communication
problem between the two countries, and said he would pay a
visit to Washington at an appropriate time. Some press
reports last week had claimed that U.S., saying time was not
ripe, turned down Ankara's request for a high level Turkish
visit to Washington.

Military `uneasy' about EU adjustment move: National
Security Council (NSC) Secretary General, General Tuncer
Kilinc submitted a report to the Prime Ministry, in which he
outlined some points of concern for the military, "Hurriyet"
reports on Monday. The military believes the amendments to
the Law on Struggle Against Terrorism might encourage
terror; allowing foreign observers during Turkish polls
would mean capitulation, and broadcast in mother tongues
might encourage separatism, Hurriyet says. The opposition
party CHP is in support of the government's EU initiative,
and said such `restrictive attitude' as displayed by the
Gen. Kilinc report should be abandoned, papers report. AKP
deputy chairman, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said General Kilinc
had no authority to issue warnings for the government, and
added that the EU reform package would be submitted to the
parliament soon, papers report on Tuesday.

AKP group `camps' in Antalya: AKP leadership and deputies
came together in Turkey's coastal province of Antalya over
the weekend to consolidate group solidarity and discuss
problems in the party, weekend papers report. Prime
Minister Erdogan told his deputies that AKP has taken off
its trappings of fundamentalist views, and became a party of
the center right. Erdogan pointed to the heavy burden
shouldered by AKP, and complained that the media ignored
certain democratic achievements by the government. Erdogan
also warned his group against fundamentalist and racist
tendencies, papers note.

IMF: "Hurriyet" reports on Monday that IMF First Deputy
Director Anne Krueger had doubts about Ankara's commitment
to the economic program, and warned against changes in
public procurement law and privatization. IMF officials
believe the new review on May 21 will be `difficult and very
critical,' all papers say. Bureaucrats put the blame on
delayed government action, and are afraid that markets would
be upset by new troubles, reports comment.

Repentance Law: Tuesday's "Milliyet" gives details about the
`Repentance Law' draft which brings gradual reduction of
penalties for terror organization members. Defectors who
surrender and provide information about their affiliation
will be pardoned, according to the draft. Defectors will be
given new ID cards, and job and financial assistance will be
provided for them and families. Terrorists who are
sentenced to life, if found eligible, will be released after
serving a minimum of six years. The new law excludes terror
organization leadership and commanders. Meanwhile, weekend
papers report that the PKK/KADEK in Northern Iraq was ready
to disarm in the face of a general amnesty declared by

Gul blames Turkish Cypriot administration for lack of
religious education: Saturday's papers claim Foreign
Minister Gul blamed the Turkish Cypriot administration for
the euphoria on the Turkish side to unite with Greek
Cypriots. If the Turkish Cypriot government had accepted
Ankara's proposal in 1996 to open theology schools (Imam-
Hatip), Turks would not have sought unification today, Gul
allegedly implied at the AKP summit in Antalya. `Look at
the Palestinian children, they are defending their country
with sticks and stones,' Gul said according to papers. In
1996, Gul was a member of Erbakan's Welfare Party (RP) in
coalition with Tansu Ciller's True Path Party (DYP).

EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq in the post war era
"The road toward a chaos"
In mass appeal Milliyet (5/20), Hasan Cemal speculated on
Iraq, from which he had just returned: "After visiting Iraq,
the picture about its future remains blurry. It is not very
clear if peace and democracy will be the winner in the post
war era. There are a lot of question marks about the way of
Iraq's future is leading to, ranging from radical Islam and
chaos, to an ultra-nationalist movement, which might produce
new `Saddam' figures. . Observing the current atmosphere
in different Iraqi regions, it seems impossible to talk
about one single Iraq. The Shiites areas bring a radical
Islamic wave, while the northern region demonstrates the
fact of a Kurdish entity turning into a state-alike
structure. . It is interesting to see nobody in Iraq calling
themselves Iraqis, rather preferring the ethnic or religious
identity, such as Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish, Assyrian and
others. . Evidently the Iraqi dictatorship failed to hold
all of these identities together. Yet it remains to be seen
whether democracy will be able to shape unity. In fact such
questions need to be addressed as quickly as possible before
Iraq turns into another turmoil."

"What is the US to do now?"
Mehmet Ali Birand commented in mass appeal-sensational Posta
(5/20): "The US wanted for a long time to make a model out
of Iraq. Moving from that point it wants to affect and
reshape the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Central Asian
Republics. It will be extremely misleading to believe that
the US fought the Iraq war only for oil. Washington's aim
is to set up in stages a new system in this region. Under
the new system terrorism will not be supported. On the
contrary, efforts will be made to ensure stability. In this
context, expectations from various countries will come to
the foreground. The issue to be tackled in Stage One:
Resolve the Palestinian problem, and ensure Israel's safety.
. Also there are other issues in the package: such as Syria
scrapping the Baath regime, Iran's liberalization, Lebanon
being rid of its hotbed status for terrorism. More
importantly, from the US point, Saudi Arabia is at the root
of Islamic terrorism. The Saudi family is being asked to
definitely prevent the channeling of funds into the Islamic
organizations abroad, so that they will be able to protect
their own hold on power. . Washington also believes that the
establishment of democracy and stability in the Central
Asian Republics will result in ridding all countries,
Afghanistan included, of the terrorism threat. It will also
cause some of them to stop supporting terrorism. . Naturally
there will be things expected from Turkey as well in the
process of change. The way Washington views Turkey is
gradually changing. The new way of looking at Turkey has
not yet taken a full shape."

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