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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.

020714Z Oct 03

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 006173

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
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2003


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


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


MASS APPEAL
Iraqi groups worried about Shiite influence on new
constitution - Hurriyet
Turkey wants U.S. action, not words on PKK - Turkiye
Powell: new Mideast to be based on tolerance, freedom -
Milliyet
AKP threatens to call early election - Turkiye
Parliament back from summer recess today - Sabah
Verheugen demands implementation of EU reforms - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Growing rift between White House, CIA - Cumhuriyet
Washington aims to untie Iraq knot at UN in October - Zaman
Chalabi received $1 million from U.S. for false WMD info -
Radikal
U.S. gives `Rambo training' to 7,000 peshmerge - Yeni Safak
Denktas: Annan Plan was drafted together with Greek Cypriots
- Yeni Safak
Israel's `security wall' toughens life for Palestinians -
Cumhuriyet
Verheugen: Turkey has taken significant steps forward -
Zaman


BRIEFING


Ambassador Black due in Ankara: U.S. State Department
counter-terrorism coordinator Ambassador Cofer Black will be
in Ankara on Wednesday to discuss the PKK/KADEK issue with
MFA officials. The two sides agreed on a joint plan of
action against the PKK on September 12. Ankara wants
Washington to draw up a concrete plan to eradicate the
threat posed by the PKK before Turkey deploys peacekeepers
to Iraq. Papers comment that the U.S. wants to see the
results of the repentance law recently passed by Ankara
before launching a military operation against the terrorist
organization. Dailies quote diplomatic sources as saying
the U.S. delegation has prepared a plan of action to discuss
with Turkish officials at meetings on Thursday. The cabinet
is set to hold an extraordinary meeting in the coming days
to consider sending troops to Iraq to support the
stabilization mission there.


Election fraud by DEHAP: The head of Turkey's election
board (YSK) indicated he will announce next week a decision
about a court ruling convicting the pro-Kurdish party DEHAP
of election fraud. The YSK decision could reduce the
government's majority in parliament and lead the GOT to call
early elections. The government stands to lose the two-
thirds legislative majority needed to alter the
constitution. Junior opposition party DYP has applied to
the YSK to annul the votes cast for DEHAP on November 3, and
to distribute them among the three parties now in
parliament. However, papers regard the cancellation of the
November 3 election results as a remote possibility.


Verheugen presses for implementation of EU reforms: The
EU's expansion chief, Guenther Verheugen, urged Foreign
Minister Gul earlier this week to implement some critical EU
reforms, "Milliyet" reports. The EU wants to see the
implementation of language education and broadcasting in
Kurdish, issuance of regulations changing the structure of
the National Security Council (NSC), and harmonization of
regulations concerning foundations. Verheugen also told Gul
that Turkey's State Security Courts (SSC) should be
transformed into specialized courts, and that Turkey still
needs to catch up with the EU standards regarding freedom of
expression.


EDITORIAL OPINION:
A) Guantanamo
B) Iraq


"Guantanamo Law"
Fikret Ertan wrote in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman
(10/1): "When it comes to the case of Guantanamo, the US is
not acting within internationally recognized practices for
`prisoners of war,' and instead calls the foreigners in
Guantanamo `detainees captured on the battlefield.' It
seems that prison conditions in Guantanamo are simply
unbearable. . The controversy over the issue once again made
headlines following Secretary Rumsfeld's remarks, in which
he made clear that a change in Guantanamo's population is
unlikely because the legal process may take years. His
remarks signify a completely arbitrary approach that goes
against all existing rules and laws. . After Rumsfeld's
statement, one wonders if the prisoners will spend rest of
their lives in the Delta Camp regardless of whether or not
they have committed a crime. The international community
should immediately work on revising the Geneva Convention,
have it adapted to the current circumstances, and rule out
the ongoing practices at Guantanamo at once."


"Can Kurds in Iraq Be the Winner?"
Kamuran Ozbir commented in the nationalist Ortadogu (10/1):
"Before the war, Iraqi Kurds enjoyed a privileged status
compared to the other ethnic groups in Iraq. Now the Kurds
have to decide whether they will support the plan for Iraq
developed by the Bush administration. The US plan will
likely ignore the expectations of the Kurds. Before and
during the war, the US was in need of the Kurds. Today,
they are no longer necessary for the US, since American
forces are in control of the country. . Once Iraq is fully
reestablished, the Kurds will lose their autonomy. Moreover
the US administration is not supporting the Kurds' argument
for independence, as is clear from US official remarks about
a unified Iraq. . It seems that the Kurds will be on the
losing side."


EDELMAN

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