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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 006621

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 22, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION
HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL


US concerned about Turkish Cypriot polls - Milliyet
Ankara offers EU Zana in exchange for KADEK - Hurriyet
US warns its nationals to leave Israel - Turkiye
Security to be enhanced around Turkey's Baghdad embassy -
Sabah
Israeli energy minister: Israel should apologize for
civilian casualties - Sabah
Saddam has $500 million in Turkish banks - Aksam
Koizumi calls Bush "Beefman" - Hurriyet


OPINION MAKERS
Gen. Myers: US to stay in Iraq for at least another year -
Cumhuriyet
Fiery Cyprus polemic between Erdogan, Denktas - Radikal
US wants observers for Turkish Cypriot election - Cumhuriyet
Springtime continues in the Aegean - Radikal
HRW claims US troops use excessive force in Iraq - Radikal
Rumsfeld launches investigation of Gen. Boykin - Yeni Safak
Bosnia bids farewell to Alija - Zaman
Israel seriously damages Gaza - Yeni Safak
Iran signs nuclear control agreement - Cumhuriyet
Greek Cypriots admit country a haven for money launderers -
Zaman


BRIEFING


$8.5 billion loan controversy: Foreign Minister Gul
repeated on Tuesday that the $8.5 billion US loan for Turkey
is not tied to a condition of troop deployment in Iraq.
Turkey's economy is not in urgent need of the loan, Gul
stressed. Prime Minister Erdogan said that Turkey would
accept the money, and that the first tranche of the loan
would arrive late October. Erogan said the $8.5 billion
loan agreement was not conditioned on Turkey staying out of
Northern Iraq. Papers drew attention to the fact that the
loan agreement had not been submitted to the cabinet for
approval, and that the GOT has not applied to the US
Treasury for release of the first tranche of money. Ankara
says the credit, approved by the US Congress for Turkey's
frail economy ahead of the invasion of Iraq, is not
essential to tackling the country's debt load.


Turkey bargains with EU over KADEK: "Hurriyet" claims on
its front page that Turkish officials promised EU Commission
members that Ankara would `change the course of the DEP
(Democracy Party) case' if KADEK were placed on the EU list
of terror organizations. Kurdish politician Leyla Zana and
three other former DEP lawmakers are being retried on
charges of separatism. Zana was sentenced to 15 years in
prison in 1993. The court ruled against the release of Zana
and her colleagues last week, which may cast a shadow over
Turkey's progress report currently being drafted by the EU
Commission.


US troops allegedly harassing Iraqi women: The Islamist
"Yeni Safak" cites an article by Dr. Susan Blocks, an
American, claiming that US troops raped 4000 Iraqi women in
the early days of the Iraq occupation. Iraqi females
between the ages of 40-50 have been used to feed the sexual
fantasies of American soldiers, Blocks claimed. Sexual
violence is prevalent in Iraq, Blocks writes, adding that
abduction and rape are spreading like a plague. Rape
victims include women between the ages of 9 and 64, she
notes. Dr. Blocks also claims that female relatives of
detained Iraqis are also being held in custody.
Israelis buying land in Northern Iraq: Dailies cite the
Israeli newspaper "Yediot Ahronot" as reporting that the MFA
has warned Israeli Embassy officials in Ankara against the
purchase of land by Israelis in the oil-rich Northern Iraqi
town of Mosul. Ankara is concerned that Israel might be
providing support to Kurds in the region. However, Israeli
government officials have assured Ankara that such press
reports are without foundation.


Gul, Papandreou meet in Athens: During his visit to Athens
on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Gul voiced Turkey's
determination to solve the Cyprus and Aegean disputes. Gul
discussed with Greek officials possibilities for cooperation
in security, transportation and communication during the
2004 Olympic Games to take place in Athens. Greek FM
Papandreou said the Olympic flame would be taken to Istanbul
as well. Papers believe that Papandreou made a goodwill
gesture by referring to `Istanbul' as well as
`Constantinople,' the term ordinarily used by Greek
officials. Papers draw attention to the `marvelous' welcome
given to the Turkish delegation in Athens, and note the
absence of protest demonstrations.


Denktas unhappy with Ankara: Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas
said that Ankara should clarify its support for his
government before the general elections in northern Cyprus
scheduled for December. Prime Minister Erdogan said last
week that the course of the Cyprus talks could be changed if
the pro-EU Turkish Cypriot opposition emerges victorious.
Erdogan also noted that a constant refusal of the Annan Plan
will not help efforts to find a solution. Denktas claimed
that the Greek Cypriot National Council is seeking a single
state on the island, demanding restoration of property
rights for displaced Greeks, and calling for an end to
Turkey's guarantor status.


US concerned of Turkish Cypriot polls: US State Department
Spokesman Adam Ereli voiced concern about possible
irregularities in Turkish Cypriot voter lists. The US
regards the polls as a crucial opportunity for Turks to
express their views on a Cyprus settlement based on the UN-
sponsored peace plan. Ereli stressed that the elections
would be, in a sense, a referendum on the Annan Plan.
Meanwhile, US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston said
in Ankara on Tuesday that European observers should be
allowed to monitor the elections.


EDITORIAL OPINION:


a) Iraq
b) Cyprus


"Nobody is in a hurry right now"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (10/22): "The
process leading toward a deployment of Turkish troops to
Iraq began with great enthusiasm. This initial enthusiasm
has given way to reluctance despite the fact that Turkey
passed the troop authorization through parliament. This is
the result of changing conditions and circumstances in Iraq
over the past several weeks, which has put a brake on the US
desire for Turkish troops. As for Turkey's position on the
issue, it seems that Ankara has failed to assess the current
situation in Iraq, and has overlooked the deep sentiment
against foreign forces and its impact on US policy. . Turkey
is now waiting for the US to adopt a clear stance on the
troop deployment issue. As Turkish officials put it,
`Turkey is ready to wait until it happens.' This means that
Ankara believes that the persuasion of Iraqi groups on the
issue is solely the job of the United States."


"Cyprus in a flurry"
Okay Gonensin noted in the mass appeal Vatan (10/22):
"Results of the Turkish Cypriot elections will not only
shape the future destiny of Turkish Cypriots, but the
destiny of the whole island. The pro-Denktash team is doing
its best to ensure that it wins the game. Denktash also
claims that he has full support from the Turkish military.
In fact, Turkish military support for Northern Cyprus is
about military and strategic considerations, not about
politics. . Solving Cyprus is the key for Turkey's accession
to the European Union. Turkey cannot possibly go through
the EU integration procedure unless the `Cyprus key' is
turned to open the current logjam. . Rhetoric suggesting
that the Cyprus issue should be dealt with after the start
of full membership talks between Turkey and the EU commences
is nothing but a tactical game to prevent Turkey's
membership from taking place. . The elections must be fair
and open. Even a tiny shadow means an act of betrayal
against Turkey and Turkish Cypriots."


EDELMAN

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