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
FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2003



Pentagon wants to use `Mujehadin' against Tehran- - Aksam
Washington now targets Iran - Sabah
Bush a `shepherd' for Mideast - Milliyet
Bush flew over Baghdad en route home - Turkiye
Cheney put pressure on CIA for Iraqi WMD - Vatan
Signals for trade between Ankara, Yerevan - Hurriyet
EU report urges Turkey to normalize ties with Yerevan -
`Repentance Law' last hope for terrorists - Aksam

MFA preparing moderate messages to Washington - Radikal
Turkey wants a `clean slate' with U.S. - Zaman
U.S. meeting with `terrorist' Mujehadin on Iran - Zaman
U.S. to use terror organization against Iran - Yeni Safak
Bush: We'll find Iraqi WMD - Radikal
EU wants a transparent Turkey - Cumhuriyet
European Parliament gives green light to Turkey - Yeni Safak
10,000 Jewish settlers protest against Sharon - Cumhuriyet

Russia wants to sell natural gas to Europe via Turkey -
Steven Mann: Iraqi developments won't affect BTC - Finansal


MFA U/S Ziyal to U.S.: In an effort to repair the strain in
bilateral ties with the U.S., an MFA delegation headed by
U/S Amb. Ugur Ziyal will pay a three-day visit to the U.S.
beginning June 15, papers report. The Turkish delegation
will try to convince the American side that Turkey's
democratic structure and close ties with regional ethnic
groups can influence developments positively in Iraq. Ziyal
will also make clear that Ankara is willing to repair
misunderstandings resulting from the Iraq crisis. Ankara
also plans to confirm that it will recognize a Kurdish
administration set up in Baghdad, and is ready to support a
structure which reflects the common interests of all Iraqi

U.S. `cornering' Iran: Dailies report that the Pentagon, in
an effort to use the Iranian opposition group `People's
Mujehadin' against Tehran, is trying to convince the White
House to change the status of the organization, which is
currently on the U.S. list of terrorist groups. Assistant
Secretary of State John Bolton accused Iran of trying to

acquire nuclear weapons, and noted that Turkey is within the
range of Iranian and Syrian missiles.

Amb. Pearson plants tree on World Environment Day:
Ambassador Robert Pearson planted a tree at a high school in
Ankara on World Environment Day, papers report. Ambassador
Pearson said after planting a Storax tree, a rare species
seen only in California and southwest Turkey, that the tree
could be seen as a symbol of close ties between the U.S. and

European Parliament approves Turkey report: The European
Parliament (EP) approved on Thursday a report on Turkey
drafted by the Dutch Christian Democrat Arie Oostlander.
The report said that if reforms are enacted, Turkey would
become eligible for full EU membership talks. The report
notes that the military's influence has slowed Turkey's
development into a pluralistic democracy, and urged that
military representatives be withdrawn from civilian bodies
concerned with education and the media. The report called
for the release of jailed former pro-Kurdish Democracy Party
(DEP) parliamentarians, and for more efficient measures to
be taken against torture. It urged changes to the Law on
the Struggle Against Terrorism and a more determined effort
to fight against corruption. The EP called on Turkey to end
discrimination against religious minorities, to take bold
steps to achieve a workable solution to the Cyprus problem,
and to develop good neighborly relations with Armenia. Most
mainstream papers evaluate the report as giving a `green
light' to Turkey's EU drive. "Milliyet" and "Cumhuriyet"
interpret the report as a signal that Turkey is not ready
for the EU due to the military's role in politics and the
deadlock on Cyprus.

Turkey, Armenia warming ties: Turkish foreign minister Gul
and Armenian foreign minister Oskanyan agreed on some moves
toward a rapprochement at the NATO summit in Madrid earlier
this week. Dailies expect border trade to begin among
Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, a move that could boost the
welfare and security of people in the region.

EDITORIAL OPINION: Post-war US policies/Middle East

"The US and the Middle East"
Kamuran Ozbir wrote in nationalist Ortadogu (6/6): "The
psychological atmosphere in the Middle East changed
dramatically after the Iraq war and following Secretary
Powell's meeting with the leaders of Syria and Lebanon. The
US is determined to change the regional equilibrium and to
implement its policies. . US policies for the Middle East
are a challenge to the Syrian and Lebanese administrations,
because they will be forced to decide between the demands of
their people and the insistence of the US to act in favor of
privileges for Israel. Syria cannot afford to ignore the US
demands, especially after America has become, in effect, the
immediate neighbor of the Damascus regime. . It remains to
be seen to what extent the Middle East regimes will be able
to cooperate with US demands in the region. Yet the fact of
the matter is that the US retains a very privileged status
in the region due to the fall of Saddam's regime like a
house of cards."

"Bush's footsteps"
Erdal Guven opined in the liberal-intellectual Radikal
(6/6): "President Bush's tour, which began in Poland and
ended in Qatar, is giving some clues for the new Europe as
well as the new Middle East. . In the coming years, US-
Polish relations will progress further, and Poland is about
to become a `second United Kingdom' in the eyes of
Washington. Warsaw-Washington relations seem to be very
much like the special bonds between the US and the UK, which
were established after WWII. This is the first lesson to be
taken from the seven-day tour by President Bush. The fact
that one of Iraq's three regions has been placed under
Polish control is a concrete indication that these special
bonds have already been formed."


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