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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 02 ANKARA 006854

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
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2003


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


HEADLINES
BRIEFING
EDITORIAL OPINION


HEADLINES


MASS APPEAL
Turkish Engineer Taken Hostage by Taliban - Milliyet (11/1)
Belgian PM: EU Stance toward KADEK May Change - Milliyet
(11/2)
Iraq's Neighbors Call for Cooperation in the Fight Against
Terrorism - Sabah
US Helicopter Downed in Iraq - Hurriyet
Education Minister: Halki Seminary should be Re-Opened -
Hurriyet
Taliban Lifts Deadline for Turkish Engineer - Hurriyet
Zebari Rejects Invitation to Damascus Summit - Milliyet


OPINION MAKERS
Higher Education Council Delays Education Reform -
Cumhuriyet (1/11)
Peace Search for Minorities in the Aegean - Radikal (11/2)
Iraq Will Become A New Vietnam - Radikal
Summit Fiasco - Cumhuriyet
Corruption Reports to be Debated in Parliament Tomorrow -
Zaman
Iraq: Just Like Vietnam - Yeni Safak


BRIEFING


Belgian Prime Minister in Ankara: Sunday's "Milliyet"
reports that prior to his visit to Turkey, PM Verhofstadt
said that the position of EU countries with regard to the
KADEK has changed. About six months ago, many EU countries
did not know much about KADEK. As it was a new
organization, many European countries wanted to give it a
chance to show it is different from the PKK, Herhofstadt
said. Now those countries have recognized that there are
many ties between the PKK and KADEK. PM Verhofstadt
stressed that Turkish officials are determined to carry out
EU reforms and called on the EU Commission to take positive
action on Turkey's accession at the end of 2004.


Turkish Engineer Kidnapped by Al-Qaeda: Saturday's papers
report that Turkish engineer Hasan Onal, who was working on
the construction of the Kabul-Kandahar road in Afghanistan,
has been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda terrorists. The kidnappers
insisted that 18 Taliban militants currently held by the
United States be released in exchange for the engineer. The
kidnappers initially gave a 48-hour deadline for the
prisoner release, but today's papers report that the
deadline has been lifted. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Gul
stressed that Turkey is taking necessary measures to secure
the engineer's release.


Damascus Summit: Today's "Cumhuriyet" reports that the Iraq
summit in Damascus was a fiasco. Iraqi Foreign Minister
Zebari refused to attend the summit, and announced his
decision through the press. "Hurriyet" says that FM Gul
exerted strong pressure on Iran and Syria to convince them
to invite Zebari to the summit. By rejecting the last-
minute invitation, Zebari put Gul in a difficult position.
"Sabah" reports that the Foreign Ministers of the regional
countries issued a call for Iraq to cooperate in the fight
against terrorism.


Halki Seminary: "Milliyet" highlights Education Minister
Huseyin Celik's positive comments on the reopening of Halki
Seminary. Celik said that `if we want equality and if we
respect religions, then the opening of this school should be
natural.'


Higher Education Council (YOK) Versus the Government:
Saturday's "Milliyet" reports that YOK has decided to move
ahead with the printing of instruction books for the 2004
university entrance exam despite the request from the
Education minister to wait for the new education
regulations. Sunday's "Hurriyet" reports that Minister
Celik was infuriated by the decision, and said he would not
allow the books to be distributed.


EDITORIAL OPINION


"The disparate seven"
Fikret Bila wrote in the mass appeal Milliyet (11/3): "The
Damascus Summit has shown that the seven attendees will not
be able take a joint position towards the US. . The summit
has made clear that in Baghdad, the reins are in the hands
of the US -- not the IGC. . Jordan and Kuwait have clearly
been manipulated by the US, as they claimed that things are
going well in Iraq and that there would not be any need
again for such a summit. The strain in US-Iranian relations
is apparent. It is known that Syria is the next target
after Iraq. Egypt seems like the leader of the Arab League,
but cannot deviate even an inch from the course set out by
the US. . Giving the impression of having entered into an
Arab bloc will bring no practical or political benefit to
Ankara. Instead, bilateral meetings with regional countries
would be much more useful."


"US, EU want a solution without Denktas"
Semih Idiz wrote from Washington for the mass appeal Aksam
(11/3): "Officials in Brussels and Washington believe that
the only option for a solution in Cyprus is the Annan Plan.
They say that the sides in Cyprus will either discuss that
plan, or will never sit at the negotiating table. They
regard some recent proposals and steps forward by Denktas as
tactical moves intended to distract from the Annan Plan. .
Not only the US and the EU, but all permanent members of the
UNSC support the UN-sponsored peace plan. The Islamic world
is not fully backing Denktas either. . What if the general
elections in the Turkish sector in December end in a
positive outcome for Denktas and the Cyprus hawks in Ankara?
Officials in the EU Commission and the US State Department
agree that in that case, Denktas would win -- but Turkish
Cypriots and Turkey would lose. They note that this
assessment is not a threat, but rather an impartial
evaluation."


EDELMAN

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